Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Chocolate is . . .

. . .  a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, divine nectar, the drink of the gods, panacea and universal medicine."
—Geronimo Piperni, Spanish army surgeon, 1796

     It's been a while since I've visited Savannah, one of my favorite cities for a million reasons. My next trip will most definitely include a stop at Chocolat by Adam Turoni.

     Adam grew up in Pennsylvania and studied under the tutelage of some of the world's best chefs at the Culinary Institute of America. Later, chef Peter Greweling—"chocolate guru"—introduced him to the alchemy of the cacao bean.

     "Bon bons became studded jewels filled with liquid gold," he says. The fortunate residents of Savannah embraced Adam and his delicious art whole-heartedly. He is "spinning chocolates that taste like the magic of memories."

     Oh yes, indeed. Look at these drool-worthy photos by Lily Lewin and resist if you can.

Sourwood Sea Salt Honey Caramels: Savannah Bee Company sourwood honey caramel covered in a 72% dark chocolate and sprinkled with cypress sea salt flakes
Savannah Philharmonic Hazelnut Creme: Fresh roasted hazelnut pureed and mixed with dark chocolate and crunchy crepes. This truffle named after the Savannah Philharmonic has a whole hazelnut center. (same recipe as seen on the episode of Paula Deen featuring Adam!)

Savannah Honey Chocolate Bars: 72% dark chocolate filled with local Savannah Bee Company sourwood honey liquid center and finished with a 24k gold dust
Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: They make their own peanut butter using fresh roasted peanuts, puree them into a peanut créme and top them with cypress sea salt flakes.
Milk and Dark Chocolate Graham Crackers

Mendiants: Candied mango, roasted pistachio and dried cranberries on a bed of 72% dark chocolate
Grand Marnier Cherry Cordials: Marinated cherries, dipped in house made fondant with a Grand Marnier liquid center encased in a milk chocolate diamond. "Stems on each cherry for a more interactive experience! (pull and enjoy)."
Golden Bailey's Truffles: Milk chocolate mousse infused with Bailey's liqueur and finished with a 24k gold dust
Colossal Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel: Hand dipped in 72% dark chocolate covered pretzel finished with silver sugar crystals
My very favorite: Chocolate Vintage Gift Box Book with Fourteen Truffles: Beautiful "antique" (cardboard/paper) Victorian box, filled with (14) artisan chocolate truffles. Finished with a large pink satin ribbon bow

     Adam's work is artistry in exquisite form. I can't wait to taste these delicacies!

To email Chocolat by Adam Turoni, click here.
In Savannah, visit 323 West Broughton Street

Love from Delta.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Is This Necessary?

     So, producers of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained ordered a halt to the production of action figures based on the Oscar-nominated slavery flick after criticism they were offensive to African-Americans.


     I have not seen Django Unchained, because a) I am not a Tarantino fan, and b) it looks repulsive. The endless re-hashing of 19th-century history is not appreciated in these (forgive the phrase) quarters.

     The eight-inch dolls, intended for people seventeen and older (sure), included gun-slinging freed slave Django, his wife, and cruel, white plantation owner Candie.

     The movie has been attacked by some African-Americans for its portrayal of slavery and its (signature Tarantino) violence. Despite the controversy, the film was nominated for five Oscars, including best picture.

     Al Sharpton's National Action Network was among the groups to criticize the action figures.

     "Selling this doll is highly offensive to our ancestors and the African-American community," K.W. Tulloss, president of the Los Angeles branch of National Action Network, told the New York Daily News.

     I don't think "action figures" are in order, or even remotely socially acceptable. Are we expecting our children to re-enact horrific scenes? 

     Tulloss said, "We don't want other individuals to utilize them for their entertainment, to make a mockery of slavery." 

     I agree. Should we expect Jews-in-Egypt slave dolls? Plastic Captured-British-Saint-Patrick-in-Ireland slave replicas? I cannot see any value in the perpetuation of an agonizing chapter in American history, or any of the other shameful human exploits of the past 2000 years or so.

     Add Django action figures to these other bad toy ideas: Spanish Inquisition Torture Set, Lego Auschwitz, and European/Native American Playset With Realistic Smallpox Blankets, Trail of Tears Map and Pop-Up Reservations.

Love and peace from Delta.