Chocolate Indulgences All Month Long

February 6, 2009

On Wednesday evening I threw a February Kick-Off Happy Hour with a few friends to celebrate the start of my favorite month of the year – February! In addition to celebrating a friend’s recent birthday and starting the celebration of my own (February 20th – I’m getting started early this year), I held the chocolate themed happy hour at Co Co Sala to also celebrate all the great things there are to love about February – Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, and President’s Day with America’s first African-American President in office.

Co Co Sala is a chic chocolate lounge in D.C. serving chocolate-inspired petite plates and cocktails like their lobster salad with chocolate vinaigrette and co cojito cocktail – a chocolate infused take on the Cuban mojito. Although the trendy spot is a little on the pricey side, the atmosphere, creative menu and delicious desserts (I had the spicy chocolate soufflé) are a true indulgence and a special treat. 

Now, is all about home cooking, and I don’t intend to start doing restaurant reviews, but one thing I do when I go out to eat is look for inspiration for dishes I want to recreate at home. So believe me, I’m definitely going to nail down that wonderful chocolate soufflé.

I am a true chocolate lover – from the chocolate in a savory Mexican molé poblano sauce to a smooth piece of 70% cacao dark chocolate to quality hot cocoa. February is just the month to indulge in a little more chocolate than usual. In addition to my regular blog posts, I’m going to feature an extra post each week this month with tidbits about chocolate.

I love books and I love quality food, so it’s no surprise that I’m making my way through a reading list on chocolate by several authors, including chocolate buyers, nutritionists, historians and chocolatiers. Currently, I’m reading The Chocolate Connoisseur by Chloé Doutre-Roussel who writes about developing a palate for fine chocolate in a way that one approaches wine tasting. Here are a few brief quotes from her book that might help increase your enjoyment of chocolate indulgences this Valentine’s Day and all month long.

“You may love chocolate … but how much do you know chocolate? To my mind, there is chocolate, and then there is chocolate. What you buy in the supermarket is a different proposition from the finest-quality bars you have to hunt for … Have you taken the time to sample good quality chocolate yet?”

“Most people enjoy eating chocolate. But only a few make a habit of ‘tasting’ it in the same way that wine is tasted for its subtle notes of woodiness, spice, fresh fruit and floral bouquets (yes, all these flavours can be found in good chocolate too!).”

“You might worry that as you grow more discerning about what you eat, you are becoming a food snob. But I prefer to put it this way: you are discovering not only what you really like, but also the great pleasure that fine food can bring.” 

The Chocolate Connoisseur
By Chloé Doutre-Roussel

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