Saturday, October 17, 2009


I'm so excited I just got the first installment of an article series I'm writing on chocolates & spices published!!! Check it out!!!!

I will admit, that once in awhile I love to just sit down with a bag of bland, mass produced chocolate drops, or bars, and zone out on some comforting old book or TV program, but this article is about how spices can help you to stop having a boring chocolate fix! For those of you that don't already know this, chocolate is plant-derived from the pods of the cacao tree. In it's most basic, unadulterated form, chocolate, without any sugar or additives, is quite bitter and has a decidedly "spicy" flavor. If you don't believe me, just go put a spoonful of baking cocoa in your mouth! So it only stands to reason, that many other plant-derived spices, and even some herbs pair quite well with chocolate.
This specific article will deal with the spice, allspice, and I will touch on some different aspects of allspice, including it's flavor profile, and how it pairs with different chocolates, as well as the history and origin of this spice. Many people think that Allspice is a combination of several different spices, but this is not the case. Allspice is actually derived from the unripe berry of a tree native to Central America. It's flavor profile is sometimes described as a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. It has a very pronounced, distinctive and complex aroma that pairs especially well with bittersweet chocolate. Because the flavor notes of allspice are so bold, it needs to be paired with an equally distinctive, spicy chocolate for this combination to be fully appreciated.
If you attempt to create this sophisticated flavor pairing, always remember that, as is the case with most spices, the whole seeds, or pods, or berries, will always be far more potent, and will yield a far better result, with a richer, deeper, more sustained flavor, than the ground stuff you get at the grocery store can ever yield.
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