I have loved the finest dark chocolate for as long as I can remember. Every holiday season when I was growing up, I looked forward expectantly to the brown paper parcels that would arrive from Germany from my two Omas (grandmothers). Each parcel was filled to the brim with fine, German chocolate—from bitter, dark chocolate to creamy milk; and liqueur filled to marzipan and nougat. Oh, and there were always Gummi bears too, the original ones from Haribo, but that’s another story…. I still remember the motto, “Haribo macht kinder froh,” which means Haribo makes children happy. Happy, yes, but chocolate brings true joy.
My love for chocolate was relegated to mid-afternoon raids of the candy machine at work and indulging in a square (or two) of good German chocolate in the evening as I pursued a career in publishing—my other love is the written word. After many wonderful years (and a few that weren’t), I was ready to rediscover what I was truly passionate about. A few wobbly steps later, I found chocolate again.
My reawakening came as I watched the film, Chocolat, for the fifth time, which apparently is the number of times it takes me to realize something. I realized then that chocolate could be an opening to my true essence and what I truly desire (and for others too).
Inspired, I enrolled in a professional chocolatier course with Ecole Chocolat and immersed myself, sometimes quite literally, in chocolate for 3 months. I chopped and tempered and enrobed (and lost my own temper as I explored the elusive art of tempering and the discovered the insidiousness of chocolate bloom); I hosted chocolate tastings and learned that fine chocolate is like fine wine (the terroir, variety of cacao, fermentation, roasting and other aspects of the production process all matter deeply to the flavor); and I deepened my respect for fine chocolate makers and chocolatiers.
My dream (mon rêve, somehow it sounds better in French) is to have a chocolaterie like Vianne’s in Chocolat where people come to discover the chocolate that speaks to their soul and “reveals destinies and hidden yearnings.” And while that dream is still a few north winds away, guided, immersive chocolate tastings; my artisanal chocolates, in beta test mode and to be sold online and available at local businesses (I hope) sometime soon; and this blog, where chocolate lovers can gather, linger and immerse themselves in chocolate will be the ways in which I create an opening for you to explore your passion, find your essence, by chocolate….