Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cuisine of California: More on Chocolate

I'm not done with my chocolate bashing

"This is a creamy, nutty, rich chocolate ice cream," Diane Rossen Worthington enthuses in the characteristically treacly headnote to her chocolate-hazelnut ice cream recipe. "Hazelnut liqueur is added for a special touch."

Well, that special touch is wasted. You might as well pour your lovely Frangelico straight down the drain. You can't taste the liqueur against all that chocolate, which is the problem with chocolate: It overpowers every other flavor. Only mint can stand up to chocolate -- because mint is a mean, ugly bully. The thing is, everyone knows that about mint while everyone thinks chocolate is just so great.

A while ago I wrote about how foods have characters, like people, and that we subconsciously transfer our feelings about certain kinds of people onto their analogous foods. I know this sounds wacky and maybe I'm the only one who does it. But I doubt it. 

In any case, I like hazelnuts. I think hazelnuts have something interesting and thoughtful to say, and I want to hear it. But then chocolate -- that pathological attention hog --  starts talking and the polite hazelnut is silenced. Hazelnut and vanilla can have a fascinating conversation. But it's always ALL about chocolate. And I resent that!

Growing up, I was always a hazelnut. Actually, I was probably a walnut, which was even worse. 

Down with chocolate! Up with walnuts! 

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