33 posts tagged chocolate
Everyone has heard of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani student and education activist who was tragically shot in the head by the Taliban on October 9, 2012. We were all heartbroken and outraged by this story. Well, when 12-year-old SamanthaAnne Martin heard Malala’s story, she wanted to do something: she wanted to help raise money to help Malala. So, Sammy and her dad, Dan Martin, got right to work on writing a song, Ricochet, and, along with a few friends, creating the spectacular video above. They did all of this over the course of 7 days, right in their backyard in Lafayette, California. Incredible.
SamanthaAnne has her song on iTunes and is kindly donating the proceeds to malalafund.org. Ricochet is a fantastic song; I’ve been singing it in my head ever since I chatted with Sammy, so…click on over and buy it! SamanthaAnne would also like for people to sign the change.org petition to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. Great idea. Done.
I had a lovely talk with SamanthaAnne and Dan by phone last week. Sammy is as sweet as can be, and her dad is just as kind. What struck me most about our conversation is that they spoke more about Malala than they did of themselves. And the most exciting part about all of this for SamanthaAnne is knowing that Malala has heard her song.
Bio: For Northern California’s 12-year-old, up and coming artist SamanthaAnne, recording and performing Ricochet is a dream come true. She loves participating in a team that writes beautiful music and meaningful lyrics while keeping an eye on impacting its audience in a positive way. SamanthaAnne describes her music as “sometimes fun, sometimes about the tough times life has to offer”. Nothing is as special to Sammy as telling a story.
Ricochet is inspired by Malala’s courage and determination. Learning about Malala has shown Sammy that a small voice driven by hope can make a change. “The more I learn about Malala and her work, the more I want to help in being a ‘kid teaching kids’. If Ricochet plays a small part in getting the word out — great! That will make me happy.”.
SamanthaAnne: I first learned about Malala in school when my class was learning about adversity. I couldn’t believe that in some parts of the world girls were not allowed to go to school. How could anyone let this happen?
When I got home, I asked my dad what we could do to support Malala. First, we did more research on Malala’s story on the Internet. That is when we came across the petition to nominate her for the Nobel Prize. What a great idea! My dad and I signed the petition, but I wanted to do something more. I wanted to raise money for such an amazing cause. That’s when we started writing the song.
SamanthaAnne: Wow, thanks for the compliment! I can never remember not singing. It’s been a part of my growing up. I have been in many musicals and Orinda Idol for a number of years. I also go to acting and singing camps and was in ACT’s annual A Christmas Carol a year ago and played Annie last year in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of Annie.
SamanthaAnne: We actually bought the piano on Craigslist. It was brown when it started! My parents spray painted it white the day before, and many of us spray painted colors on our hands and put them on the piano the morning we made the video. It’s still sitting in our backyard.
SamanthaAnne: Are you kidding! Of course. See’s Candies; Scotchmallow is my favorite.
SamanthaAnne: I would love to be a singer. I have always wanted to be on stage.
SamanthaAnne: I am working on an album that we will release in 2013. I am so excited. Getting a song on iTunes was a dream come true.
I recently went on an afternoon chocolate field trip to San Francisco with my foodie friend Cathy Curtis. I’d been wanting to visit Michael Recchiuti’s new Chocolate Lab since November, when Michael and his wife Jacky opened their cafe in the Dogpatch neighborhood. I have been a fan of Recchiuti Confections for years, so I was very excited to try their food, in addition to sampling a dessert or two…or three. That’s why it’s smart to go with a friend…
Cathy & I did order lunch first, but we were so excited to eat the delicious-looking food, that I forgot to take pictures. I can tell you that the Winter Greens Salad and the Frittata Tartine were great, though. Very fresh and light. Recchiuti gets their food delivered from local farms, which I greatly appreciate. Pictured above is their Chocolate Custard, which I am craving right now…it was so good! Long story, but we ended up going back later in the day and having a couple of ice cream sundaes (hey, they’re small!), which were also to die for.
The best part of the whole day is that we were fortunate enough to meet the man himself, Michael Recchiuti. He was there working, and was kind enough to come over to our table to chat. Michael is very kind and down-to-earth…I think we may have talked his ear off a bit, but he didn’t seem to mind. I’m looking forward to going back to the Chocolate Lab again soon.
Later that afternoon, Cathy took me to the kitchen for Tout Sweet Patisserie, where she has special foodie connections. Tout Sweet is located inside Macy’s in Union Square. We were invited to sample the cake below, so we took a few pieces of that yummy cake home. As you can see, this was a good day we were having!
Next, we wandered into Craftsman & Wolves, just to look, at this point. But I want to go back there and buy their scrumptious-looking pastries one day.
We had hoped to visit Dandelion Chocolate in their new shop in the Mission, but they were closed for the holidays. I’ll definitely be paying them another visit in the future.
Thank you, Cathy Curtis, for going on a chocolate field trip in San Francisco with me.
I attended the Fall Luxury Chocolate Salon in San Francisco on Sunday, November 11th. It was a beautiful, blue-skied day at Fort Mason but I colored this photo brown, as I had chocolate on the brain after tasting so many delicious samples at this fun event!
The best part about taking a week to get this post up, is that the winners have been announced! Congrats to Catherine and Ellin of Toffee Talk, below, for taking the Top Toffee in Salon award again! Well-deserved…I love their toffee!
Sixth Course Artisan Confections, of San Francisco, won several awards for their delicious truffles, including Best in Salon. Congrats, Bridget and Gianina! Jade Chocolates, another woman-owned SF-based chocolate company, took 1st place for Best Flavored Chocolate Bar. Kudos to Mindy Fong (below)!
Snake & Butterfly won several awards, including the Silver in Best Organic or Fair Trade products. Pictured below are Mara & Vince, two of the owners. Gotta love a company with such integrity! Those values mean so much to me.
The flavored popcorn below is from Plumeria Flours. They won the Silver for Best Comfort Snack Product, and I’d have to agree. Their popcorn is so delicious!
I could barely get near the packed Socola table, so we have no photo of owners Wendy & Susan, but I was able to quickly purchase a couple of boxes of their exquisite truffles. Socola Chocolatiers won many awards that day, including 1st Place for Top Artisan Chocolate. Congrats, ladies! The Tea Room Chocolate Co. took 1st Place for Best Milk Chocolate. By the time I got to their table I could eat no more, but I did snatch a dark chocolate sample to save for later, which I was very happy to have after lunch.
The two lovely ladies below are Katreece Montgomery, of The Chocolate Addict blog, and Bethany Garland, Chief Chocolatier at Lillian Joy, Decadent Art. They gave a fun and interesting presentation at the Chocolate Salon; I was pleased to meet them both! And just when I thought I knew all of the SF-based chocolate companies, I discovered Feve Artisan Chocolatier. As you can see below, they have beautiful chocolates. Feve won many awards that day, including Most Artistic Designs; well deserved!
Clarine’s Florentines, a woman-owned company out of Berkeley, was handing out samples of their yummy European cookies, for which they won several Bronze awards. And La Chatelaine traveled all the way from Montana to share their scrumptious chocolates. Congrats to them on winning multiple awards!
I tried to get photos of every participant, but I missed a few: Butterfly Brittle, Marti Chocolatt, Quail Point Chocolates, Rachel Dunn Chocolates, and Kallari Chocolate. Kallari won 1st Place for Best Organic or Fair Trade Product, an important category in my opinion, so they deserve a special mention. I’ve had their chocolate in the past; it’s fantastic, as is their mission.
My 13 year old daughter accompanied me to the Chocolate Salon. She’s got a sophisticated palate, that girl; so funny…she turns her nose up at milk chocolate! Needless to say, we had a wonderful time tasting artisan chocolate. After tasting as much as we could, we craved salad, so we headed over to the renown Green’s Restaurant, right there in Fort Mason for a delicious vegetarian lunch. That was a great day. Now we’re looking forward to the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon, which happens on March 24th, 2013.
Chocolate of the Moment… I took this photo a couple of days ago, after my package arrived from Snake & Butterfly, and before I ate every single one of those Fig Caramels. SO delicious!! I’m happy to tell you I didn’t eat all 4 in one day. I also didn’t share them with my family…oops! ;)
Snake & Butterfly, whose name I love, by the way (reminds me of Success & Chocolate!), is based in Campbell, CA. They make organic, fair-trade artisan chocolates and confections. They have a newly opened Factory & Lounge which I hope to visit in the near future.
I’m grateful to Mara, one of the owners, for noticing my blog and offering to send me their exquisite chocolates. Each of the bars is delicious, my favorite of the above 3 being the Benjamin’s 76% Blend…dark, rich, and smooth! I *have* shared the bars with my family and we each have our favorites. My 12 year old son, who LOVES spicy stuff, thinks the Cherry & Chili bar rocks!
Chocolate of the Moment… Today (10/28/12) was National Chocolate Day. To celebrate, I ate some of my favorite organic ice cream: Three Twins Vanilla Chocolate Chip, topped with Recchiuti Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce…OMG, so sinful and delicious!!
Three Twins Ice Cream is a San Francisco Bay Area-based business… I’ve been a huge fan since they opened their first shop in 2005, in my hometown of San Rafael. The owner, Neal Gottlieb, is a cool guy who’s from New Jersey, like yours truly. He’s built up a hugely successful business, and I’m super happy for him.
Recchiuti Confections belongs to San Francisco’s Michael & Jacky Recchiuti. They are known worldwide for their exquisite chocolates. Soon they will be opening Chocolate Lab, a chocolate cafe in San Francisco…I can’t wait to check that out! No doubt it’ll be as fabulous as their store in the Ferry Building.
This is not a sponsored ad. I wrote this out of the goodness of my heart. Photo credit: Three Twins and Recchiuti
Lisa Kift is a therapist in private practice who lives right here in Marin County, where I reside, though we first met via Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, you should follow Lisa @LisaKiftTherapy …she shares excellent relationship and mental health articles and tips. I especially love her #EmotionalHealthMinute tweets, such as: If you tend to scan the horizon for the negative, try changing the channel. You are likely missing a lot.
I admire Lisa because she uses social media, and technology in general, in a very positive and smart way, to help the general public. Lisa is also a very nice, hip, down-to-earth person in real life. And she does like chocolate… :)
Bio: Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com, providing tools for marriage, relationship and emotional health. She has a private practice in Larkspur, Marin County, CA, working with individuals and couples. Lisa is a frequent consultant for the media and has appeared in online news sources and publications such as CNN.com, Huffington Post, and Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine.
Peggy: Where were you born and where do you live now?
Lisa: I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Mill Valley (where I now live again). I spent many years of my life living in Southern California; San Diego and Los Angeles. My husband, son and I moved back to Marin County about four years ago.
Peggy: You have an impressive, information-packed website; as you say, “one of the first therapist created online resources for the public of its kind”. How long ago did you create your website, and what caused you to have such an unusual (at the time) vision?
Lisa: It was a combination of luck and timing. The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com (with tools for emotional and relationship health) is a separate site from my local Marin practice site (MarinTherapyandCounseling.com) but it didn’t start that way. It originally was my practice site in San Diego where I got my MA in Counseling Psychology and did my internship training. At the time there were barely any therapists online (many still of the old era belief that therapists shouldn’t advertise or market themselves).
I started writing articles on various topics and putting them on that site. Not only did it put me extremely high in search engine rankings but I found my practice was busting at the seams as people were clearly searching for therapists online. I was still a MFT intern and the agency I was working at couldn’t believe it! Additionally, I started getting contacted by people from all around the world who were finding the site and seeking advice from me. I realized there was a huge potential to reach more than I’d ever imagined; people worldwide seeking further education on the topics I was writing about.
It was then that the concept of creating downloadable products for purchase was born. Therapy-At-Home-Workbooks® is my line of tools for couples (and soon individuals) to use to improve their emotional and relationship health. I currently have The Premarital Counseling Workbook for Couples (also available in Spanish) and The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples. My next project is a workbook for individuals on the topic of emotional health.
Lisa: I typically don’t use social media for my therapy practice specifically, though it’s possible clients have stumbled upon me that way. I primarily use Twitter and my Facebook page to share information related to emotional and relationship health. I also use them to market my workbooks, as well as recommend other products. I’ve established a lot of relationships with therapists, psychologists, and others in my field doing some great stuff.
Peggy: How much time per day do you spend on social media? What advice do you have for others with regards to not getting addicted to social media?
Lisa: During the week I’ll post a few odds and ends in the morning and sometimes again later in the day. I usually don’t engage in social media on the weekends.
I think social media and other online activities can be a big risk for many, particularly those who don’t have a balance of healthy outlets, are depressed, or vulnerable to addiction. There have been recent studies on the similarities between the brain’s response to internet use (gaming, social media) and drug addiction. The most important thing to do to avoid getting “addicted” to social media is to closely monitor any negative consequences (relationships, job, mood issues, etc.).
Peggy: What were you going to be when you grew up?
Lisa: When I was young I used to love to write and when a little older, do photography. My dream at that time was to become a photojournalist. Instead, I embarked on a film/television production career that I ultimately ditched to become a therapist, which is more rewarding and a better overall fit for me.
Peggy: How do you balance motherhood and work?
Lisa: For me the trick is a periodic re-evaluation of how things are balanced. I identify with a lot of roles; mom, wife, friend, therapist, writer…and it’s easy to find my scales have tipped in a way that’s not comfortable. I used to identify with being a “Type A” personality but not anymore. Trying to do it all is highly over-rated. My meditation practice has helped a lot with making that shift.
Peggy: How do you get out of a funk?
Lisa: Exercise helps improve my mood a lot. Talking to my husband and friends helps, too. Sushi or frozen yogurt also does wonders.
Peggy: Dark or milk? Do you have a favorite brand?
Lisa: Dark. I realize this is very “old-school” but I still have a special affinity for Hershey’s Special Dark.
Peggy: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you?
Lisa: I like to mountain bike, hike, and am coaching my son’s soccer team (he’s in kindergarten). I think it’s important for young boys to see that girls play sports too. :)
Peggy: Lisa, thank you so much for your time here!
Sue Ann Gleason has a fabulous and very popular Facebook page called Chocolate For Breakfast which I interact with on a daily basis. She posts great photos of chocolate, and fun quotes…very happy stuff that’s easy to ‘like’. I became curious about who was behind the page, and whether she really ate chocolate for breakfast… so I did a little research and discovered this wonderful and intelligent woman who has amazing credentials and provides exceptional programs and content for women. Please enjoy my interview with Sue Ann…and if you’re interested in growing a business via social media, be sure to pay attention to her excellent tips below. Sue Ann knows what she’s talking about!
Bio: Sue Ann Gleason is a food lover, food writer, food-based healer and savvy marketing strategist. Founder of Conscious Bites Nutrition and the Well Nourished Woman, she inspires women to trust their intuition, unravel their food stories and take back their plates, one luscious bite at a time. Sue Ann shares her expertise through online programs and in one-on-one sessions via telephone or Skype.
To download her free No Longer Asleep at the Meal ebook, click here.
For Sue Ann’s free Chocolate Lover’s Guide, click here.
And for daily interaction and delicious chocolate suggestions and humor, visit her chocolate lover’s playground on Facebook.
Peggy: Where were you born and where do you live now?
Sue Ann: I was born in Buffalo, New York. I now live in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington, DC.
Peggy: I love the name of your blog, Chocolate for Breakfast. What inspired the name? Do you really eat chocolate for breakfast?
Sue Ann: I do eat chocolate for breakfast! My culinary nutrition work is all about pleasure and permission and showing women that they don’t have to deprive themselves of delicious treats to achieve vibrant health. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When we deny ourselves the pleasure of a treat we end up craving it even more. So rather than ‘curbing’ our cravings, I suggest we ‘honor’ our desires. And we do that with the very best chocolate we can acquire.
My own chocolate for breakfast journey began in January 2011. I was researching hunger and satiety for an article I was writing for my Conscious Bites Nutrition community when I came across the big breakfast diet. Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, a clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, found that sedentary, obese women on a “big breakfast diet” lost almost five times as much weight as did women following a traditional, restrictive low-carbohydrate diet.
This was a very interesting and informative study, but my ears really perked up when I saw a piece of chocolate on the breakfast menu. Jakubowicz explained that our serotonin levels are highest in the morning. That’s the best time to indulge in a little treat because the brain won’t feel the same serotonin boost. Reaching for a sweet treat later in the day, when your serotonin levels dip, may contribute to an addictive cycle because your body begins to associate good feelings with the treat.
The important thing to note here is that a small square of really good dark chocolate is part of a larger meal that contains some form of clean, lean protein or healthy fat to keep blood sugar levels stable and contribute to satiety.
Peggy: You say you found your calling not once, but twice. What are those callings and how did you find them?
Sue Ann: Before opening my Conscious Bites Nutrition practice I was a teacher of small children, a dance and aerobics instructor, and a mentor to blossoming teachers. About seven years ago I experienced a health crisis that literally brought me to my knees. My vitality was virtually gone. I was falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from school and then falling into bed at 8PM. And even with all that sleep, I could barely drag myself to work in the morning. I attributed it to “burnout.” I had a very demanding class that year and I was pretty drained from that experience. When those symptoms persisted, I made an appointment with an endocrinologist.
Endocrinologists are trained to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in your system. It turned out there was a lot to treat: my adrenals were shot, Hashimoto had taken up residence in my body (All I could think was, “Who is Hashimoto and what’s he doing in my body?”) I discovered Hashimoto is an autoimmune disorder related to the thyroid.
I also discovered that I had osteoporosis.
Yes, I was a virtual train wreck. Not to worry. The prescription pads came out and I was offered all kinds of solutions to my failing health. I was not ready to hop on the pharmaceutical train.
As luck or serendipity would have it I came across a book at a local bookstore, the Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. I just opened the book to a random page and these were the words I found looking up at me: Chapter Three: Dirty Little Secrets, Cluster Epidemics from Buffalo to Texas. Buffalo, New York is my hometown. That book was the catalyst for a very deep study of the endocrine system and the beginning of my journey into food as medicine. I went back to school and for the next few years I studied the various components that make up the career I enjoy today: nutrition, culinary arts, the psychology of eating and positive psychology.
Peggy: What does a Culinary Nutritionist do?
Sue Ann: I help women cultivate a body wisdom approach to nourishment. There is so much conflicting nutritional information out there, we really don’t know what to eat anymore. A more traditional nutritionist might provide you with all kinds of scientific information to help you choose healthier foods. They might say something like: “A single serving of fresh corn tortillas delivers 8 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, over 100% the RDA for riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and C, and over 40% of the RDA for niacin, selenium, and vitamin B12.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll leave that experience clamoring for another session, right?
So, instead of handing women a 1400-calorie meal plan or point system and a packet of recipes they may never use, I like to cultivate their culinary curiosity and show them how they can prepare simple, healthy, exquisite meals and still have time to eat.
Rather than taking things OUT of their diet and labeling foods ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ I help women redefine pleasure and the true meaning of nourishment. We gradually build a new repertoire of foods and, even more important, habits around food based on my Conscious Bites Concepts™. Basically, I usher them out of the weight loss war zone and back to a place where eating starts to feel delicious, natural and sustainable.
Peggy: How did you become a chocolate connoisseur? Have you loved chocolate your entire life?
Sue Ann: Yes, my dad introduced me to ‘chocolate for breakfast’. As a special treat he would get up very early on a Saturday morning while the rest of us were asleep and drive to Jet Donut, Buffalo’s favorite donut shop. A beautiful box of yummy confections awaited us when we climbed out of our sleepy nests. My chocolate palate wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as it is now but I sure loved those donuts.
My ‘Chocolate for Breakfast’ connoisseur adventure began in January 2011 when I started my chocolate for breakfast blog and Facebook page with the intention of building a community of chocolate lovers who shared similar viewpoints on pleasure and permission. But much to my surprise (and delight) the chocolate journey took on a life of its own. As my Facebook fan base grew, chocolate makers from all over the world started sending me samples of their chocolates hoping to tease my palate and claim a space in my Top 12 Chocolate Finds ebook, or at the very least, my fan page.
The more chocolate I tasted, the more refined my palate became. Pretty soon I was choosing chocolate by origin, much like a connoisseur of fine wine develops a more informed and discriminating taste for the grapes of a particular region. It’s not that there is anything wrong with a varietal, it’s just that I became rather enchanted with the nuances of flavor that I had never before experienced in chocolate.
Peggy: Your Chocolate for Breakfast Facebook page has over 10,000 fans. You’re obviously doing something right! Do you have any social media tips for other entrepreneurs?
Sue Ann: Yes, that number astonishes me, too. I will celebrate the two-year anniversary of my fan page in January 2013. I never dreamed I’d have over 10,000 fans in less than two years. I never dreamed that the health editor of Oprah Magazine would contact me for recipes for an article on ‘dessert for breakfast’. I am thrilled with the engagement on that page.
Here are the tips I offer fellow entrepreneurs and my marketing strategy clients:
Be intentional: Make it your mission to provide the best content possible and your fan base will grow organically and authentically.
Build Relationship: This is a tricky one because there are only so many hours in a day and there are so many social media opportunities: blogging, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn. Whichever form of social media you choose to engage in, find authentic ways to interact with people on your page to keep them coming back. I don’t look at the ‘number’ of fans I’ve attracted. I look at the ‘engagement’ level. That little number speaks volumes. This is not a popularity contest. It’s a relationship.
Be Present: We live in an automated world. There is nothing more disappointing than being in a conversation with someone who isn’t present. You know that scenario. It’s the conversation you’re having with someone who is glancing over your shoulder instead of looking you in the eye. Social media is no different. You want to be present on your page. People feel your presence.
Keep Your Eyes Wide Open: Keep an eye on what are your fans are responding to. What do they want from you? I discovered early on that the people on my page want to have fun. They come to Chocolate for Breakfast for delicious recipes, chocolate recommendations, humorous posts and community.
Peggy: What are your goals with Chocolate for Breakfast?
Sue Ann: My goal is to continue growing my community while providing richly rewarding content. I offer two online courses: the Well-Nourished Woman Inner Circle and Clueless in the Kitchen No More, six weeks of ‘healthy’ culinary bliss with one week devoted entirely to chocolate. I am building a community of women who are committed to leaving a luscious legacy in the world. I am also writing a book. I bet you can guess the title.
Peggy: Dark or milk? What are some of your favorite brands?
Sue Ann: I stay away from milk chocolate because it is too sweet for my palate and dairy binds with the antioxidants in chocolate and prevents them from nourishing our cells. My favorite chocolate is small batch, bean to bar, single-origin that contains no soy and no dairy. I love Dandelion Chocolate based in San Francisco, Mast Brothers Chocolate based in Brooklyn, Ritual Chocolate based in Colorado and Potomac Chocolate right here in Virginia. For me, these chocolate makers represent the very best in artisan chocolate. When you taste these bars, you begin to understand the nuances in flavor in the chocolate itself. There are no distractions in a bar of single-origin chocolate, just pure unbridled intention.
Peggy: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you?
Sue Ann: My signature online program, the Well-Nourished Woman Inner Circle, runs twice a year for three months. I have been developing this program for the past four years and it has morphed into a truly exquisite online experience for women who are ready to take back their plates, one luscious bite at a time. I would love to offer your readers a kindred spirit special if they are interested in registering for the next session. They can contact me for details and simply mention Success & Chocolate interview.
Peggy: Sue Ann, thank you so much for your time. I have enjoyed learning more about the woman behind the fun chocolate Facebook posts!
Chocolate of the Moment… I’ve long been a fan of Green & Black’s Organic chocolate, especially their 85% bar, so when they offered to send me some samples, of course I accepted. The awesome person who sent the above samples was paying attention, and took note of the fact that I’m a dark chocolate lover, and therefore made excellent selections for me!
2 out of my 3 kids are now dark chocolate lovers, too (my 7 year old still likes the milky stuff), so I’ve had some help doing the “sampling”. The delicious Cherry bar didn’t last long at all in my house…and the others are on their way to being gone. Thank you very much, Green & Black’s…we love your chocolate! And thank you for being Fair Trade and Organic!
Oh, and if you’re wondering how Green & Black’s got their name…I found this great explanation on their website: There never was, in fact, a Mr. Green or a Mrs. Black. The name was dreamt up by the company founders, Craig and Jo, to symbolize the true foundations of the brand: green for organic and black for the deep, rich dark brown (almost black) color of the chocolate. And so Green & Black’s was born.
Chocolate of the Moment… I’m sitting at my desk working on the next Success & Chocolate interview, snacking on TCHO Dark Chocolate covered Mango pieces. Health food, right?!
I love these little morsels, and I love the fact that they’re made in San Francisco. In fact, I bought them recently while touring their factory at Pier 17, along the Embarcadero.
I think the stainless steel container looks nice next to my iMac. :)
This is not a sponsored ad. I wrote this out of the goodness of my heart.
Last Saturday I attended the 17th Annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival in San Francisco. What a picture-perfect day it was in the city that day! The sun and warm temps brought out big crowds to Ghirardelli Square…not that booths full of chocolate wasn’t enough of a reason to show up. :)
A little history: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was founded in 1852 by Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli, and is the second oldest chocolate company in the United States. Ghirardelli is now a division of Lindt & Sprungli.
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is located in Ghirardelli Square, which is an official landmark of the City of San Francisco. Ghirardelli Square was originally built as a woolen mill in 1864. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company moved in during the late 1890s. You’ve got to love a building named Cocoa (below)! There is also a Chocolate building and a Mustard building (because the company used to sell mustard…go figure).
Back to the festival… There were many, many booths handing out samples, and plenty of entertainment (including belly dancers, which my 7 year old found interesting). I didn’t purchase the $20 sampling ticket because I had my heart set on having one of Ghirardelli’s famous Ice Cream Sundaes, for old time’s sake.
I did have an ice cream sundae with chocolate chip ice cream, complete with whipped cream and cherry…but I was so excited to dig in, that I forgot to take a picture. So, here’s a photo of a bunch of other yummy confections that were sitting on the counter, awaiting delivery.
This is called The Earthquake…8 scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings. No, I did not order one!
While researching Ghirardelli, I learned this interesting very fact: around the year 1865, someone in the Ghirardelli Company made an important observation—by hanging a bag of chocolate in a warm room, the cocoa butter drips out, leaving a residue that can be processed into ground chocolate. This technique, called the Broma process, is now generally used in the manufacture of chocolate.
I took the above photo inside the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop, where they show how chocolate is made. If you’re ever in San Francisco, be sure to visit Ghirardelli Square, and have an ice cream sundae! The festival was fun…I’ll be going back next year.