Thursday, November 13, 2008

theobroma cacao: sensual sustainable seratonins

Single-origin chocolate should have been starring at last weekend's New York Chocolate Show.
Jill Santopietro wrote and blogged about it for The New York Times. It's been the high point of my kitchen cupboard since August, when I visited Fazenda Monte Alegre, Diego BadarĂ³'s cacao farm in Bahia, Brazil.
So I bundled up Sunday evening to catch the end of the show, ripe for cacao-buzzed inspiration.

Instead I found chocolate records inscribed with holiday messages, mannequins wearing chocolate dresses and a "Divalicious!" chocolate fountain for marshmallow-dipping. I don't mean to sound like a scrooge, but it seems silly to go to such great lengths to create a novelty out of what is such a magical material to begin with. But, alas...

Diego, he of Cacao BadarĂ³ in Brazil, an alchemist in the truest sense, came to New York for the occasion. Tuesday night he shared his wares with a few friends: some special chocolate-makers, farmers and importers of exotic fruits. In an apartment in the West Village, a red wine and dark chocolate-fueled jam session brought us all back to Bahia, the origin of Cacao BadarĂ³ chocolate. Magic is restored.

Below is a little taste I recorded that night:
The farmers and chocolateirs on their instruments in the background, Diego telling about cacao farming and my photos: beginning in New York, then taking you back to the origin in Bahia.

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