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Archive for March 18, 2010

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Bond Street Chocolate

Do you really want an Easter basket with jelly beans, marshmallow eggs and a chocolate bunny? Or would you rather have confections from a fine chocolatier who thinks outside the basket?

The answer may be “both”; but order early if you want to acquire these beautiful pieces of edible art from Bond Street Chocolate. They sell out!

To make these beautiful chocolate statues of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadeloupe (as well as Buddha and Moses), Bond Street Chocolate uses the finest E. Guittard’s 72% Coucher du Soleil, a dark, rich, smooth couverture chocolate with a creamy mouth feel and hints of thyme and jasmine. With all due respect, it is chocolate to pray for.

The chocolate is poured into handmade chocolate molds. The molded pieces are painstakingly hand-painted with edible gold leaf.

They are beautiful to look at, and you can keep the chocolate for up to a year as an object d’art before you have to decide whether it’s art or food.

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Beautiful chocolate sculptures, embellished
with edible gold. Photo by Katherine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

For those who want a box of classic chocolates, Bond Street Chocolate’s sophisticated bonbons are available in traditional shapes, but with anything but standard flavor combinations—several with fine spirits such as Bourbon, Cachaça, Rum and Tequila, as well as florals and herbs such as hibiscus, lavender and tea. Send a box to your favorite chocolate gourmet, but hurry, as they do sell out.

 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Spectacular Salts

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Alaea, Hawaiian sea salt, in coarse and
fine grains. Photo courtesy Saltworks.us.

“Sea salt” is not a generic product. There are many different varieties evaporated from different bodies of water worldwide, from England and France to Greece to Japan.

The salts have the “goût de terroir” (goot duh tur-WAHR)—the flavor of the particular waters from which they are harvested. Each body of water has a unique mineral content, which can be tasted in the different salts.

Since most sea salts are unrefined, they deliver the nutritious traces of calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc from their local waters.

Alaea, or Hawaiian sea salt (from the island of Kauai), takes its name and color from the area’s red volcanic clay. The sediment of iron oxide-rich red volcanic clay, called alaea, seeps into the ocean from Kauai’s rivers. When this red ocean water evaporated in tidal pools, alaea sea salt was born. In addition to its beauty as a garnish, alaea has a complex, earthy, mineral flavor.

 

In addition to plain sea salts, there are smoked salts, flavored salts and other culinary salts. Some are favorites for cooking, others make beautiful garnishes.

Click here to learn your salts in our glossary of artisan salts.

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EASTER: Gourmet Chocolate Easter Eggs

You wake up the day after St. Patrick’s Day and what’s on the agenda? Easter! A series of favorite Easter candy begins today.

In our youth, we were satisfied with Cadbury’s chocolate buttercream Easter eggs. But today, we’re more demanding. We want those eggs to sizzle.

So, we’re starting with Bacon and Eggs, one of the four gourmet Easter egg flavors from Vosges Haut Chocolat. It’s filled with bacon caramel (that’s caramel with bacon in it). If you’ve never had bacon chocolate, Vosges’ collection is one of our favorites (there are bacon chocolate bars, flying bacon chocolate pigs, bacon caramel toffee and a bacon and chocolate pancake mix).

But, there’s more temptation, in the form of three additional eggs; two are organic.

The PB in the Organic Peanut Butter egg is seasoned with Himalayan and Maldon salts. The Organic Wink Of The Rabbit is filled with caramel and pecans.

 

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Wake up to Bacon And Eggs chocolate
on Easter Sunday. Photo courtesy Vosges.

And for those who just want a solid piece of chocolate, there’s the Deep Milk Chocolate egg, 42% cacao enhanced with pink Himalayan sea salt.

The eggs are sold in boxes of five one-ounce pieces, in a purple box, for $22.00. Get them at VosgesChocolate.com.

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