If we're talking sweets, we're talking dessert. If we're talking dessert, then for me, above all else, we're talking CHOCOLATE. And I mean the real kind, not the icky, weird concoction they call "milk chocolate." Here's a few factoids and trivial things about our friend chocolate:
- The Mayans and Aztecs were the original chocoholics. Some of them loved it so much they even grew cacao in their backyard gardens. Now, that's my kinda urban gardening!
- One of my favorite chocolate books is Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival. Each chapter of the book begins with a recipe. The novel employs a heavy dose of magic realism which works well with the foodie, soap operatic plot.
- Xocolātl is a popular cacao drink that the Mayans and Aztecs made. Dagoba makes a bar they call Xocalatl.
- Seeds from the evergreen tree Theobroma cacao are used in making chocolate.
- Another fictional chocolate I enjoyed is the film Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. The themes aren't entirely different from Like Water for Chocolate with passionate chocolate making and high drama about a small conservative French town who receives a big shake up with a new chocolatier in town.
- Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid in chocolate that gives you that nice chocolate buzz.
- "Chocolate gives you zits." Remember that old rumor? Well, bust that myth, cuz it ain't true.
- Portland is home to some pretty nifty chocolatiers. Alma Chocolate, Cacao Drink Chocolate, and Moonstruck Chocolatier are some of the standouts.
Here's a young girl after my own heart. Photo courtesy of RIPizzo on flickr.