Oh my word! Michelle and I found oursleves in quite the cozy theobromine binge on Sunday. This was the For the Love of Chocolate benefit we attended put on by the Eugene Slow Food group. The following pictures are Michelle’s, who has already posted her report!
I arrived with scarcely any time to mingle before the tasting, but Michelle took care of me by pointing out the pre-tasting spread of goodies. Go figure we’d be having chocolate before our chocolate tasting! Next to the huge pile of truffles were three insulated carafes of single origin hot chocolates. I took a shot of the Madagascar, and couldn’t believe what was in my cup. Instead of the typical hot chocolate drink, what greated my lips was a thick, cake batter like puddle of chocolate porn. It was amazing.
We then quickly found seats and were greated by piles of chocolate and handouts. While the chocolate is all good, the prospect of handouts made me especially happy. Our tasting was led by Paul Albright of Guittard Chocolate. His presentation is reportedly the same as what he would give to culinary students- a detail that I swear made Michelle and I quietly whoop for joy. What followed was an amazing foray into the intricacies of Guittard’s newest angle on the chocolate market, the development of their high end chocolates, denoted as the e. Guittard line of products.
Paul led us through a structured tasting of 24 different e. Guittard chocolates, beginning with their single origin varietals and finishing with two white chocolate varieties. His presentation blew me away. Paul was very generous with entertaining our questions, even my silly one asking what in the world carob is (I know, almost heretical in that environment).
I fear the theobromine may have clouded my brain by the time we got to the white chocolate part of the tasting. I still have questions about what the breakdown of white chocolate is. One of my handouts lists an e. Guittard white as a 31% Cacao White Chocolate. However, I’m not clear on what exactly does that mean (ratio of sugar, milk, etc). Or more simply, what the heck is white chocolate again?
After our chocolate tasting, the event organizers had the audacity to present us with a buffet of various chocolate foods to nibble on, the nerve! Vella Dry Jack Cheese, Mole Salami (hey look at that Michelle- it is mole flavored!) by Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, Chicken with Mole Sauce, and Chocolate Cherry Bread. I plan on stalking my bakery for my own personal loaf of the chocolate cherry bread this weekend as it was dense and dark, a wicked combination of brownie and bread. My favorite nibble however was the Mole Salami made by Salumi up in Seattle (by Mario Batalli’s Dad!). The spice combination rounded out with chocolate was divine. Salumi has special holiday baskets and ordering directions on their website to bring this wonderful salami into your home.
This event was a great introduction to Eugene’s Slow Food events. I hope the future ones are this bright and shiny.