What Would The World Be Without Chocolate?
As a dedicated professional foodie, I usually can’t wait to get my hands on the latest issue of Gourmet Magazine. I simply love food! I love working with it… I love talking about it… and I love eating it! But I can honestly say there is only one thing I love more than ordinary food, and that’s chocolate. After all, I am the guy who cooked chocolate pasta on KABC’s AMLA to the delight of Christina Ferrare, a chocolate and pasta fancier.
So imagine my complete and utter disappointment with the May issue of Gourmet. I scoured it from cover to cover and alas there wasn’t a single recipe or even a mention about chocolate. How could Ruth Reichl, my favorite Editor-in-Chief, have let me down so badly? Ruth, what were you thinking? There were articles on Fresh Foods, Drinks, Stir Frying, Wine and Travel. They covered Melbourne, Sailing and the Low Countries Rising. They even included an article on Obsessions—obviously theirs and not mine—as my obsession is with chocolate.
So, that made me start to think about a world without chocolate. After all, if Gourmet could put out an issue without one chocolate recipe, new chocolate thought or even a single chocolaty mention, what could be next? The world would certainly not be a better place, nor was this months Gourmet a better magazine for not including chocolate.
Now I am not a first class editor like Ms. Reichl, but I do know that I could have added a few chocolate ideas to the issue. I would have taken the Tortilla Chicken Drumsticks recipe on page 78 and improved it with a touch of mole—that rich, dark, reddish-brown delicious concoction usually served with poultry. It’s a great sauce made with onion, garlic, a variety of chilies, ground pumpkin seeds and a small amount of, you guessed it, Mexican chocolate. It would have been so easy.
On page 99 in Cucina Paradiso there is a wonderful recipe for Tuscan Cornmeal Cookies. This yummy recipe, too, could have been improved with, you guessed it, chocolate! If it were left up to me I would have substituted 3 tablespoons of the butter with a dark, rich chocolate ganache. I also would have considered dipping half of the cookie in a tempered chocolate bath to add a tantalizing chocolate dimension. After all, our Italian friends, both here and abroad, certainly love their chocolate, too.
What would the harm have been in brushing the Périgord Walnut Tart shell (page 123) with a little bit of melted chocolate? Besides the obvious flavor appeal, practically speaking, a little chocolate will keep a tart shell wonderfully fresh and flaky. There were strawberry-Vanilla Swirls (page 75); does Ruth not think that strawberry and chocolate blend well together? Who doesn’t love the taste of fresh summer berries that have been kissed with chocolate? What about the recipes for Dulce de Leche Torte (page 115) and Naranjilla Ice Cream (page 131)? Is there no room for a little chocolate among the citrusy flavors of the specialty fruit purées so well discussed? Chocolate and citrus-like flavors are like love and marriage. And what about a refreshing, ice-blended chocolate beverage for summer? It’s not just for winter anymore.
First the brokerage firms, then the banks and the car companies… everyday, life as we know it is changing! But NO CHOCOLATE in Gourmet?! That, we cannot stand for! Hopefully, Ms. Reichl, this was just an unfortunate oversight—one that will never be repeated in Gourmet again.