The Chocolate Life

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Clay Gordon's Blog (63)

Of Chocolate And Cheese (And Beer)

This article was written for and originally appeared in the Top Chef for Foodies blogs sometime in late 2007 or early 2008. BravoTV/NBC Universal in their infinite wisdom saw fit to remove all references to it when I stopped writing for them.



As I was nearing the final draft deadline for my book, Discover Chocolate, my editors asked me to rethink the content of the fourth major chapter of the book. Originally it was going to be a section on the health benefits of… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 3, 2010 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

The best coffee and gelato in all of Rome?

Of all the things I expected to learn on my trip, learning where to get the best coffee and gelato in Rome never entered my plans. But there I was in Rome with an expert local guide (Vanessa Barg of Gnosis Chocolate) and that is exactly what I discovered. The New York Times recently also bestowed the best coffee on this place - saying that it might just be the most expensive in the world - when you add in the cost of the flight - and it would be worth it.



Near the Pantheon on the… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 27, 2009 at 9:00am — 6 Comments

The New New European Chocolate Weight Loss Diet

The first time I traveled to Europe for an extended period of time (six weeks in 1986 - way before my interest in chocolate) I managed to lose quite a bit of weight.



One of the reasons why was that I spent the first two weeks in Germany (a culture not known for gourmet cuisine) and another was that I was working a nine-day trade fair (Photokina) and so was on my feet from 9am to 8pm every day with few options for eating. For the remaining four weeks I was eating at most two meals a… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 26, 2009 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Euro Chocolate Road Trip - London Day 3 and Sophisticated Pairings

Today is the official first day of Chocolate Week and now that Chocolate Unwrapped is over there is no official “center” for the event. For the next seven days Chocolate Week goes virtual with events scattered throughout the city at various locations including the shops of participating chocolatiers. My main chocolate-related goal for the day is to prepare for a pairing event hosted at the Westbourne Grove shop of Arisan du Chocolat.



The event is called Sophisticated Pairings… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 17, 2009 at 12:30am — 5 Comments

Off to Paris and the Salon du Chocolat

Tuesday, October 13



The weather in London finally lived down to its reputation on the Tuesday I am scheduled to take a late-morning Eurostar from St Pancras London to the Gare du Nord in Paris for the Salon du Chocolat. After the hotel's quaint excuse for a breakfast (brown toast except there was no brown toast – again), brown (bran) flakes, orange "juice," and instant "coffee," I shouldered my bags and descended into the London Underground during the height of rush… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 14, 2009 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Euro Chocolate Road Trip - London Day 2

There is a lot to like about London – but hotels are not one of those things.



The hotel that is hosting Chocolate Unwrapped – The May Fair – has a very nice lobby with a happening lobby bar scene at night. I suppose you could call it a boutique hotel. And I am sure that the rooms are very nice, but I am equally sure that they are quite small for what they cost. And that's the dilemma of hotels in London. In the US in most cities I can go to a budget hotel brand and even for a modest… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 13, 2009 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

Euro Chocolate Road Trip - London Chocolate Unwrapped

The whole Idea of Chocolate Week in the UK has been to build awareness for the growing artisan and high-end chocolate world in the UK (not just London) and drive foot traffic into the stores rather than taking people out of their workshops during the busy holiday production season and gathering them all together in one place for the public to parade in front of.



This year the organizers decided to add a small trade show component to Chocolate Week – Chocolate Unwrapped - as a way to… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 12, 2009 at 4:30am — 5 Comments

Euro Chocolate Road Trip - Off to London

Day 1 - October 9, 2009



It's 6:00pm and I am finally in the air en-route to London via Toronto. I left for the airport earlier than I normally would have because it's the Friday of a holiday weekend (Columbus Day here in the US; the connection to chocolate is that Columbus was the first known European to see cacao off the coast of the island of Guanaja on his third voyage to the New World in 1503 – it's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada) and I expected traffic out to La Guardia airport… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 12, 2009 at 2:00am — No Comments

My Fantasy Interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

Over the past six weeks, my house has been on the market because it was to be featured on a segment on The Daily Show. Hosted by John Oliver, the segment was to be about trying to sell housing in a desirable community in a down market. The segment aired on 7/27 and ended up not featuring my house because at the last minute the celebrity The Daily Show had enlisted for a gag backed out. If you've seen the segment where Oliver blasts Timothy Geithner for not being able to sell his house (he… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on August 7, 2009 at 1:56pm — 1 Comment

Recipes wanted for a new book on bacon - Members with chocolate/bacon recipes for the dessert section?

Bacon Freak Needs "YOUR" Original Bacon Recipes To Be Featured In Our Bacon Freak Cook Book!

Submission Deadline: 15 August





We are currently in the process of preparing to publish our very own Bacon Freak Cook Book and we would absolutely love the honor of prominently featuring YOU and your uniquely original bacon oriented

recipe in the book.



For years now, our loyal and dedicated Bacon Freak members and customers have been asking us to please… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on August 6, 2009 at 12:28pm — 3 Comments

Bacon Chocolate Bar

Time Magazine reporter Joel Stein visits the restaurant Animal and cooks a very manly bacon chocolate bar with owner/chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Part of an article set on Bacon for Dessert.

The video can be seen by clicking this link.

Added by Clay Gordon on July 22, 2009 at 4:55pm — 1 Comment

BREAK RANKS! EUROCHOCOLATE IN PERUGIA FROM 16 THROUGH 25 OCTOBER 2009

A hammer and a modernly designed ruler are the protagonists of the sixteenth edition of the chocolate event, which will be one day longer than previous events.



Break ranks!



The military order that has been chosen as the slogan of the sixteenth edition of Eurochocolate Perugia is a clear invitation to think outside the box, to give free rein to one’s individuality, to go beyond the usual habits to be able to enjoy the food of the gods in a new way and in all its… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on June 24, 2009 at 10:59am — No Comments

Press Opportunity: Mother's Day Gifts in/to Australia.

Please do not reply to this blog post or to me. The contact information is at the bottom of this post. If you have something, please reply directly to that e-mail address.



Summary: Mothers Day Gift Ideas for Australia



Category: Lifestyle & Entertainment

Name: Kirsty Lawson

Email: kirsty@prezziexpress.com

Title: Editor

Media Outlet/Publication: Prezzi Magazine

Anonymous? No

Specific Geographic Region? No

Region: Australia &… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 3, 2009 at 8:01am — No Comments

Requirements for Membership

I got a lovely e-mail earlier today from someone who expressed interest in TheChocolateLife a couple of months ago:



> I am sorry that it took so long to respond!

>

> I love your website! I looked into becoming a member but I am not a

> chocolatier. Do you need to be to become a member?



Here's how I [edited slightly] responded back:



[T]:



You don't need to be a chocolate maker, chocolatier, chocolate writer or critic, sell… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 13, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Faculty for the 2009 World Pastry Forum Announced

Carymax LLC has announced the faculty for the 2009 World Pastry Forum on their new website.



The World Pastry Forum offers two different instruction tracks - the Hands-On track and the Demonstration track.



The Hands-On track offers students just that, a hands-on opportunity to do a deep dive into specific topics with world-class… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 27, 2009 at 10:30pm — No Comments

The Great Forastero vs Criollo Debate

There is an unquestioned assumption many chocophiles make: because Criollo beans make better (and more expensive) chocolate, doesn't it make the most sense to replace all those "inferior" Forastero and hybrid-Trinitario trees with Criollos? Wouldn't everyone - including the farmers - be better off?



Well, no, actually. And here's why.



Chocolates made with properly fermented and dried (proper fermentation and drying are key to full flavor development) Forastero/Trintario… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on November 4, 2008 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Privacy and TheChocolateLife.com Messaging System

I recently sent everyone a broadcast message about an issue I was recently made aware of regarding the messaging system here on TheChocolateLife.com.



Because some of you have elected NOT to receive any e-mail from TheChocolateLife.com, I am posting (an updated version of) the message here.



@Message Starts



Recently, Ning (the company that makes the software used for TheChocolateLife.com) made some "improvements" to the messaging system to make it… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 31, 2008 at 9:13am — No Comments

Rain Forest Musings

Context: These are journal entries I made as a guest at the Kapawi eco-lodge in 2005. Kapawi is located on the Kapawari River which feeds into the Rio Pastaza which is in turn a major tributary of the Amazon. Southeastern Ecuador. Miles and miles and miles from any roads. The only ways in and out are via canoe on the river or small plane.



More Context: These were written just a day or so after taking part in a shamanic ritual in Quito that involved consuming… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on June 18, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Decoding those pesky PLUs

From over at Serious Eats, an article on decoding PLU stickers.



It turns out that there is more there, there, then you might immediately infer. For example:



Conventional produce gets a four-digit number. Organic produce gets a five-digit number that starts with 9. Genetically modified items also get a five-digit code, but… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 20, 2008 at 11:49am — No Comments

Sometimes It's *Not* About The Chocolate

Just when you think you've pretty much seen it all, something comes along to let you know that you just can't make these things up.



A Swiss company is selling a box of four chocolates for $620. That's not a typo - six hundred and twenty dollars. What makes these chocolates special is not the chocolate, that's plain old Felchlin Maracaibo Clasificado 65% or the Cru Sauvage 68%. No, what makes these chocolates special is that they are decorated with gold or silver leaf or "edible… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 15, 2008 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

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