Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
Media attention, popular culture, audience questions, growing consumer awareness, and changes in the chocolate world sparked the new material in this second edition of On the Chocolate Trail. I am happy to offer up a totally new chapter, “Gods in My Chocolate,” which explores twenty-first-century controversies about deities formed from chocolate. While chocolate generally unifies, outrage and disgust plague these chocolate gods, despite the intentions of their artisans. Blasphemy and art intersect.
In these last few years we have seen an expanding array of chocolate choices for consumers, an increase of small bean-to- bar artisan chocolate makers, deeper conversations around worker justice, fear of chocolate shortages, and concerns about sustainability in the chocolate industry. This edition therefore includes a completely revised chapter about the ethics of chocolate and how to select the best. Chocolate economics, cacao tree sustainability, environmental issues, child labor, and honest business practices mix into these complexities. New sidebars address questions about single origin chocolate (from a specific country or region or farm), the panic around chocolate shortages shortages predicted for 2020; and, the downfall of hipster Brooklyn company, Mast Brothers.
Popular culture drove other material. Fascination with the Broadway show Hamilton led me to explore chocolate usage by our founders in “What Did Alexander Hamilton Drink?” Less historical and perhaps a bit hysterical was the Jewish community’s uproar over the secret Santas hidden in chocolate Maccabees. Since that famous episode of Seinfeld, everyone wants a chocolate babka so the sidebar “Chocolate Babkathons: New York City” feeds the ever-growing popularity of this delicious treat. I also relate my family story about valuables smuggled out of Nazi Europe in chocolate, which echoes a scene in the television series “Transparent.”
New information responds to audience questions as well, particularly about religious food laws as they apply to chocolate. People often ask about kosher for Passover chocolate. Certainly our times require clarity about halal certification for chocolate within a Muslim setting.
Of course there are a few more sweet recipes, and I have also included three savory options.
Many thanks to the staff at Turner Publishing and Jewish Lights for making it happen.
Zooming for Challah
Thank you to The Jewish Week’s Food and Wine for running my story, “Zooming for Challah.” The internet has been popping with real-time challah baking sessions since shelter in place began. These free pre-Shabbat meet ups nourish a hunger for recipes, relief, rituals, and relationships. Despite nationwide yeast and flour shortages, longtime bakers and novicesRead more ›
Celebrate the First Shabbat After Passover with a Shlissel Challah
Hasidic communities mark the first Shabbat after Passover with a special challah as they transition back to the world of chametz. They shape the first post-Passover Shabbat challah into a key. The key, or shlissel as it is called in Yiddish, is meant to symbolize openings, passageways, and transition. Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro of Kovitz (b.Read more ›
Atayef: Double Fried Filled Pancakes for Chanukah
Aka Ataïf, atayif, qata’if, qatayif, katayef, these pancakes may be filled with nuts or also prepared with cheese fillings for Chanukah or Shavuot. They are also popular at weddings spread with cream and rose petal jam or simply topped with pistachios or almonds. This recipe guides you through a nut stuffed option. Read my storyRead more ›
Panettone for Breakfast?
While we tend to think of panettone as a Christmas bread, Jewish food writer Edda Servi Machlin shared this version of panettone from her childhood experiences in Italy of eating it for breakfast. She provides an authentic yet simpler process than most panettone recipes and a very tasty one at that. Enjoy it whenever youRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Ambasha (aka Himbasha, Hambasha) Ethiopian Wedding Bread
- Boulou: North African Orange Bread
- Challah Dough for Shaping
- Cheese Babka Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Chronicles: Inventions & Elections
- Kaak: Recipe for Crunchy Yeast Biscuits
- Lachuch (aka Lahoh or Lahuh): A Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Challah Recipe
- Other Wedding Bread Customs
- Pan de Calabaza: Pumpkin Challah
- Panettone for Breakfast?
- Recipe for Dabo: Ethiopian Pan Cooked Shabbat Bread
- Recipe for Fancy Shapes in Dough: Shaping Dough
- Saluf (aka Salouf or Saloof): Recipe for a Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Seeking A Shikker Challah
- What is the Chocolate Babka Project?
- What's a Key (shlissel) Challah?
- What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
- Yeast Raised Khachapuri Recipe
- Yemarina Yewotet Dabo: Ethiopian Honey Bread