We look forward to seeing some fellow Theonistas at the Eco Gift Expo next month in Santa Monica. We will be at booth 101with all of our lovely holiday items for sale as well as individual bars to recharge your engines on the go, and of course, many tasty samples!
Tomorrow night, Thursday, November 29th, a fabulous fete combining many of my personal favorite things will be taking place at the Columbia City Theater. "A Holiday Romp" will include wines from the "Vine Vixens" at Kestral Vintners, Theo Chocolate samples, and Sweet Beauty product demos to warm your cockles, and a fashion show featuring designer Kim McCormick of Kimmi and Cicada, and boutiques Cicada Bridal, The Frock Shop, and Anadaluz. Did I mention that the models are burlesque dancers? Whew! Sounds like a great night out.
I'm back to satisfy your thirst for pairing knowledge with a selection of articles from The Nibble:
Here is an interesting article and tasting chart for Wine and chocolate pairings.
Here you will find an excellent glossary of chocolate language to guide you on your journey to pairing heaven.
And this little number is a nice comparison of single origin chocolate growing regions.
This is a very cool article about sustainable cocoa growing in Brazil. Maintaining the natural ecosystem means not only better chocolate yields, it generates greater carbon offset, and a healthier planet. In fact, poor, over farmed soil can be returned to healthy biomass in only a few years of conscientious planting and care. And it's nice to see the big companies recognizing the value of sustainability.
This tart is festive and gorgeous- just perfect for holiday parties. I an envisioning a cake plate just stacked with tiny individual tartlet versions of this yummy recipe. I love the simplicity of the ingredients, and the rich pairing of chocolate and pumpkin. Four bonus megastars for transcending the dreaded "Pumpkin Pie Spice" and reaching for some sassy flavors on the spice rack.
Priceless! How else can you be sure that 2 TBSP = 1 Pony? Or that an English peck is just infinitesimally larger than an American peck (okay, about 1 US cup. I couldn't resist finding out!)
If your in the mood for a little DIY, this Fudge Bar recipe looks simple yet effective. To Theo-fy, replace the unsweetened sugar with the Theo Origin Bar of your choice, and reduce sugar accordingly. For example, if you are using a 75% cocoa bar, 25% is going to be sugar. Since 4 ounces of chocolate are called for, 25% is one ounce, therefore, you can reduce the granulated sugar by 2 tablespoons and off you go.
It's day one of the Seattle Food & Wine Show. If you're thinking of checking it out, be sure to find us for some samples! Looks like a ticket to the Food & Wine Show gets you into the Christmas show as well, if that's your bag. (Ho, Ho, Ho...)
This is a handy dandy glossary of wine terminology courtesy of Natalie Maclean four time James Beard award winning food and wine writer. There is a strong emphasis on tasting language, which is great if you are looking for help on deciphering wine reviews, labels, or signage at your local wineshop. Many people are interested in unique pairings this season, and a solid grasp of this primer would be a great advantage in setting up your next chic spread. Here is a lovely article about food and wine matching to get you in the mood!
We will be providing some of our excellent confections to the Focus on Farming Conference this year. It's going to be an amazing forum for members of the local farming community to focus on some issues close to our hearts, such as creating a successful CSA, using bio-energy sources and growing bio-energy crops, reclaimed water, & organic certification for the small farmer. Keynote speakers include Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, of the Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
So..... just how similar or different are two Theo bars from different origins??
Even a very simple ("old school") type of chemical analysis (Gas Chromatography) gives us a good sense of how Theo's Ivory Coast and Theo's Ghana bars might differ at the molecular level. The graph shows the chemical trace for Ghana in blue and Ivory Coast in Red. Where the traces overlap there is a high degree of similarity. Where the lines separate show where the molecular composition of Dark Chocolate differs.
Its just a start..... We'll keep you posted on progress in the Chocolate Laboratory.....
Chocolate:The Exhibition is on tour from the Chicago Field Museum. It will be here Seattle in '09 - I can't believe they are making us wait so long! In the meantime, check out their extremely fun and informative website. It is chock full of information, and has some wonderful educational interactive tools. Here is the upcoming schedule, perhaps it is visiting your town soon?
|2008||February 9 - May 4, 2008||Great Lakes Science Center
|May 31 - September 7, 2008||Henry Ford Museum
|October 4, 2008 - January 5, 2009||Indiana State Museum
|2009||January 31 - April 26, 2009||Pacific Science Center
|May 23 - September 6, 2009||North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
|October 3, 2009 - January 3, 2010||Union Station Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
|2010||January 30 - April 25, 2010||Memphis Museums
|May 22 - September 5, 2010||Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History|
Big thanks to everyone we met at the Crave Show at Seattle Center this weekend! We had a nice time meeting people, handing out lots of yummy samples, and enjoying the other exhibitors wares as well. Here is a picture I took of Deb setting up the booth on Saturday.
Our Reverse Trick or Treat was a grand success, and we loved having the opportunity to spread the word about Fair Trade and surprise and delight moms and dads with a little more "Treat" in return for their Halloween generosity this year. Our "kids in the field" reported that parents were completely taken aback at the reverse gifting, and responded enthusiastically to the Fair Trade message. Big thanks go out to Global Exchange for spearheading this amazing movement, and the Washington Fair Trade Coalition for their support (Thanks Stephanie!) We can't wait to participate again next year and reach out to even more people. Thanks to everyone who participated near and far, and all the bloggers out there spreading the good word.