Recently in Chocolate - Misc. Category
Chocolate drinks aren't exactly something new. The Aztecs had their own variety of hot chocolate (flavored with chili peppers...mmmm) at least 500 years ago, and probably more like thousands. In fact, drinking was the only way to imbibe chocolate until the mid-1800s.
In general, regional cuisines arise from the ingredients locally available, as well as their quantity -- and in this sense, chocolate is no different from any other foodstuff. On this site, we celebrate the extremities to which people will go in order to get their RDA of the fifth major food group.
If you've ever given it some thought, you've probably realized that most of us who are willing to dedicate our lives to chocolate wouldn't hesitate to indulge in a little chocolate tourism here and there. As it happens, you'd be right.
There's a new gourmet chocolate in town, pardner: Tabasco chocolate. Or so the claim goes, anyway. What makes it "gourmet," as such, isn't entirely clear. But when you get right down to it, it's really chocolate getting back to its roots.
How so? Well, as all chocolate extremos know, in its raw state, chocolate is shockingly bitter. The original Native American consumers didn't care for that bitterness any better than we do today... but they had no sugar to combine with it.
Confectioners have practiced basic chocolate printing for years, using images and messages printed onto chocolates with special edible inks and dyes. But oh, how far we've come recently.
Now scientists at the U.K.'s University of Exeter have developed a printer that can fabricate three-dimensional objects from nature's most perfect food. If that thought doesn't make your mouth water, then you're probably dead or hate chocolate (which are basically the same thing, yes?).
You may have heard of the Human Genome Project a few years back... but have you heard the news about the cacao genome? Probably not. For some reason, the chocolicious equivalent of the HGP didn't garner much attention.
In fact, hardly anyone realizes that the race to unlock chocolate's secret code quietly succeeded in yielding not one but two "rough drafts" of cocoa DNA in 2010 -- several years earlier than expected.
It can be a hard life, laboring under a chocolate obsession. Well... okay, maybe not. As fixations go, it's not exactly horrible to be intensely attracted to the fruit of the cacao, with its creamy richness and stimulating tang. There's a reason the name translates to "Food of the Gods" in Greek.
According to Forrest Gump, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." That's a nice sentiment, but not necessarily true. If you're careful and knowledgeable, you can get a basic idea of what you're gonna get just by looking.
Let's take a closer look.
If there's such a thing as too extreme in the world of extreme chocolates, glass chocolates may just take the cake.
Mind you, in the past we've covered things as weird as chocolate brassieres, chocolate-covered seaweed, chocolate-sauerkraut cakes, and whole hotel rooms crafted from chocolate. Not to mention chocolate statues of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, which is impressive if a little scary.
Oddly enough, the concept of personalized chocolate is one that doesn't seem to occur to most people -- which makes it more extreme, in its way, than chocolate-covered Pop Rocks and chocolate sauerkraut cake. But it shouldn't be, if you'd just give it a little thought.