Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
When needing a new word for ice cream for the revitalized Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehudah turned to the Torah. Actually, he opened the Aramaic translation of the Torah by Onkelos to Exodus 16:14. There the Aramaic uses “glidah” in the passage that describes how manna fell in the desert like a fine, flaky frost on the ground.
It is precisely that frosty, icy aspect of ice cream that makes adding chocolate chips or chunks a challenge. Chocolate’s melting point in the mouth is one of the tests of a quality chocolate. Cold impinges on that. Tasters know not to drink cold liquid before sampling chocolates. A chocolate made with a cocoa butter equivalent (CBE) such as vegetable oil or butter will melt differently from a cocoa butter-only bar. So what to do when adding chocolate into our ice creams?
Ice cream expert, David Leichman uses only very small chips of quality dark French Valhrona chocolate so the chocolate really becomes part of the ice cream. If you want a big chunk of chocolate remaining in your mouth, Leichman says he will give you a chocolate bar to eat after you finish your ice cream.
Ohio-based Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams prefers a dark 60% cacao from Askinosie, Callebaut, Green & Black or Valhrona. Another national company headquartered in Cincinnati, Graeter’s, stirs molten chocolate into its French pot artisanal, small batches, rich product. Local rabbinic students have been known to compete to show off the largest chocolate slabs. The Peter’s brand chocolate, is poured into the small batches of ice cream, then chopped with a paddle, yielding varying sizes of chocolate.
If you are making your own ice cream, you may want to follow the advice of chocolate expert, Alice Medrich. Medrich argues for keeping the melting point of the chocolate matched to the frozenness of the ice cream. To keep the strong flavor of the chocolate without it turning gritty or chalky, melt the chocolate with some water, freeze it and then chop it into tiny pieces, that is, chill and chop. The bits are added to ice cream at the end of the churning.
However you decide to make it or buy it, keep in mind the Hebrew idiom, “pa’am shelishit, glidah.” That is, “the third time there will be ice cream,” which is said when coincidentally running into someone twice. Actually, I wonder, why wait until the third time. Just make it ice cream with delicious chocolate each time.
Choco-dar first erupted on our multi-country circuit of Europe in a VW van. That adult onset, self-diagnosed radar for chocolate experiences led us serendipitously to many wonderful chocolate discoveries and surprises. In the process I learned some chocolate travel tips. Chocolate travel generated the book and the website that I came to call On theRead more ›
Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
On the Chocolate Trail, I found amazing stories of mothers and chocolate from World War II. Immigrant Lisa Hoffman reminisced about how her mother insured she had the skills, including chocolate making, to survive. “I carried inside of me all of the lessons my mother had worked so hard to get for me. I could makeRead more ›
Chocolate Trail Broadens: “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” Travels
I am very excited that the NYCs Bernard Museum exhibit, “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” based on my book, On the Chocolate Trail, will now be forging new paths as it travels around the country. We selected On the Chocolate Trail as the book title for a number of reasons. First, it evokes the diffusion ofRead more ›
Talking Chocolate in February
Recent media featured projects on the chocolate trail in celebration of Valentine’s Day and “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” at the Bernard Museum, NYC. Of course, Florence Fabricant’s mention of the exhibit in the New York Times was a highlight. Now, these stories just within the last two weeks: In The Jewish Love AffairRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Bat Mitzvah Wants Fair Trade Israeli Chocolate
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Expo
- Chocolate Made My Lunch: Nashville
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Labor Day in our Chocolate
- Local Chocolate in the South
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
- Seriously Tasting Chocolate
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes