Local Chocolate in the South
Finally, there is a “local” American chocolate. In Nashville, Tennessee, no less. Olive & Sinclair Chocolate, Tennessee’s only bean to bar chocolate maker, sources its beans from Ghana and the Dominican Republic. It has found a way to court and reflect a Southern palate in its products. Their chocolate makers uniquely mix buttermilk into their white chocolate. Brown sugar sweetens everything. Duck fat thickens their caramels. Bourbon cured cocoa nibs crackles their SOFI (Specialty Food Association) award winning Bourbon Nib Brittle. A refurbished melanger, formerly used for grinding grits, processes their cocoa beans.
Generally, it is quite a challenge to find a “local” chocolate unless you travel 20 degrees north or south of the equator, where cocoa beans grow. Even then the chocolate would most likely be served as a beverage, if at all. In African countries most growers never taste a chocolate made from their cocoa beans. Chocolate as we know it in the cooler, wealthier Northern Hemisphere requires importing cocoa beans out of their equatorial habitat and transporting them long distances, often by boat. Buying chocolate from cocoa beans grown and processed in Hawaii or from Guatemala might be the closest to “local” chocolate available here in the States.
At least a “local” flavor in our chocolate may be found at Olive & Sinclair. All of this Southern chocolate loving care may be found as far away as Thailand and as close as your internet connection.
Launching The Chocolate Babka Project
Admittedly, by heritage I am more a German kugelhopf than an Eastern European babka. I remember eating homemade kugelhopf and bundt cake at family celebrations in Los Angeles. When I mentioned babka to my German speaking father, he looked puzzled and asked, “What’s a babka?” Babka, much less chocolate babka, was just not in our pastryRead more ›
On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
Mark and I happily signed on for three distinct rainforest chocolate experiences within a 15 mile radius of our home base, the romantic Cotton Tree eco-lodge which is nestled among Mayan villages near the Caribbean in the Toledo District of Belize. Not only did Belize envelop us in an exotic rainforest experience, our tourism contributedRead more ›
Is that coffee or chocolate?
Having just eaten my daily portion of chocolate covered coffee beans, I am primed to consider the questions I hear about coffee when I teach on the chocolate trail. How do the two foods really differ, other than taste? I think back to when the layout for On the Chocolate Trail was being designed andRead more ›
A Chocolate Cake for October’s Tricks: Devil’s Food
Heading into October and its culmination in Halloween, I find myself hankering for Devil’s Food Cake, despite its initially derogatory name. Supposedly in 1690 Pilgrims traveled to Plymouth Rock via Amsterdam. They stayed in a house near the city’s biggest chocolate houses and called that chocolate “the Devil’s food.” Later, a chocolate cake, perhaps simplyRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- A Chocolate Cake for October's Tricks: Devil's Food
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
- Choco-Travel Tips
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Trail Broadens: "Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate" Travels
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Lunch and Learn: Tasting the Best Chocolate
- Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes