In Our Winter 2014-15 "The Chocolate" Issue

Last Updated December 01, 2014
0 Shares
Share to printerest Share to fb Share to twitter Share to mail Share to print

Dear Reader,

You are in for a treat! This issue is filled with the tempting, thought-provoking, stimulating and otherwise simply yummy world of chocolate.

I know you might be wondering why we decided to focus on chocolate this winter, especially given the fact that cacao, the tree from which we get our cocoa, grows thousand of miles from Li'l Rhody. Despite the equatorial origins of cacao, chocolate is intertwined with our local food community in more ways than you'd imagine. It's not only part of our state's history, it's a part of our state's food economy–and each time you order a delicious chocolate dessert or a Rhody-made truffle, you are part of it too.

The idea of a chocolate issue began last winter as I was polishing off a rather sinful chocolate dessert. After a little digging, I decided it was time we all learned a bit more about the subject– on a local level–like the history of chocolate in Colonial Newport, the artisanship of local chocolatiers, plus chocolate as it relates to the farmers who grow this popular indulgence. Understanding more about the foods we eat enhances our appreciation for them, and hopefully leads to a more mindful approach to procuring, cooking and dining–even with chocolate.

The subject of chocolate offers as complex a set of topics as flavors to your palate when you taste it. Tracing the bean back to its origin and following its long journey to the bar you nibble, the hot drink you sip or the dessert you dive into, chocolate is a food worthy of closer scrutiny.

Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753 gave it the Latin term Theobroma cacao, Theobroma meaning food of the gods and cacao from the Aztec (or Nahuatl) language, approximating bitter and water. As you'll learn in this issue, Linnaeus was late to the party given that the enjoyment, if not idolization, of cacao likely predates his assessment by several thousand years.

When delving into its history and emergence from indigenous foodstuffs to modern commodity, you'll learn in Rhodeside Diaries that chocolate has inexorable ties to the slave trade. In Edible Nation you will discover that despite chocolate's dark side, both past and present, we have the power locally to make positive changes globally in the way today's chocolate growers and workers are valued for their hard labor.

You'll discover chocolate can be healthful. It can be beautiful, as you'll see throughout the issue, and it brings generations together to relish its savory side, as you'll appreciate in Foodways.

As you will observe throughout this issue, chocolate is part of the food culture of Rhode Island, something that brings enjoyment, both for the little lift it offers us in the rough times–and the delight it brings to the good times.

We hope you experience far more of the good times in 2015. From both myself and publisher John Schenck, here is a toast to Rhode Island, and all of its sweet and savory flavor.

Dig in!

Genie McPherson Trevor


Simply, The Shop

The Shop
Keep the earthy feel of repurposed wood in the floors and benches with shades of slate and oyster in the walls. Set out a communal table, a...

Change Is Good! Simmons Café and Market Transforms Into Natural Foods Store

Simmons Café and Market
“When people walk through our front door, we want to relieve their stress,” says Jennifer Grantham, owner of the rejuvenated Simmons Café...

Three Continents in One Bowl at Bóru

When Steve Lucier and Casey Shea decided to open a ramen noodle shop, they called it Bóru, a Japanese word for bowl (the ramen’s origin)...

Zuerner Made Shows Gratefulness in Every Board

Cutting boards primarily from maple, walnut or cherry
Just out of high school, Peter Zuerner found his passion: working with wood to build elegant furniture pieces and to craft beautiful...

Hoppin’ ‘n’ Poppin’ at Nettie's Kettle Corn

Nettie's Kettle Corn
Five years ago, Joe Clemente had never heard of kettle corn, and now he pops 750 pounds of kernels a week to make Nettie’s Kettle Corn,...

Chocolate Stout: A Community Collaboration Produces a Fair-Trade Pint

Chocolate Stout
There’s nothing better than a cup of hot chocolate on a cold December night—except maybe a pint of good stout. This winter, Revival Brewing...

What's In Season: Winter in Rhode Island

December January February March 2016
December, January, February, early March. What is in season in Rhode Island for the months of December, January and February. Cook fresh...

Belgium Tripp Sausage with Braised Red Cabbage and Apple & Celery Root Custard Gratin

Perfect for a wintertime feast, this recipe combines savory sausage with a creamy gratin and mellow wine-braised cabbage. House-made sausages are available at the Wurst Kitchen at Chez Pascal but any...

Sugar Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Hazelnut Crema

Stock up on fresh local sugar pumpkins and make a few batches of this flavorful and velvety soup for the freezer. It’s perfect on a cold winter’s day for lunch and makes an elegant starter for an...

Chocolate and Ginger Tart with Thai Basil

Rich with a subtle herbal kick, be sure to start this tart early in the day as it is best enjoyed the day it is made. The homemade pastry is slightly delicate but worth the extra effort to make from...

Make it Your Own Noodle Bowl

Make Your Own Noodle Bowl
The Noodle Bowl: Make It Your Own With Local Flavor

Chocolateville's Chocolate Mill Overlook is a Sweet Legacy in Central Falls

Chocolateville at Central Falls
If you visit the bank of the Blackstone River in Central Falls, you’ll find an homage to the city’s chocolatey history: a tiny park called...

Whisper in The Dark

Whisper In The Dark
Both caffeinated and creamy, this quintessential coffee cocktail satisfies a sweet tooth.

Coco Fuel, Paula Charleson Brings Healthy Chocolate to the Local Market

Locally sourced ingredients in CocoFuel chocolate
Powered by Determination, Paula Charleson Brings a Healthy New Chocolate Product to the Local Market

Chocolate Glossary: A Guide for Bakers and Eaters

Chocolate bar illustration
Like the worlds of wine and cheese, the world of fine chocolate is complex. This glossary should get you started on the right track to becoming a connoisseur.

Dinner, Drinks and Dessert: A Full Course Book List

Dinner, Drinks, and Dessert
Our recommendations on a full course book list.

Edible Rhody Kids: Chocolate

Cacao Beans
Everyone loves chocolate—kids and grown-ups alike. In fact, chocolate ranks as the favorite fiavor of most people in America. And yet, few...

Two Hauser Chocolatiers: Father-and-Son Team Craft Chocolate for Every Taste

Hauser Chocolatiers
It’s a little hard to find the Hauser Chocolatier building until you spot the WWonka license plate on Ruedi Sr.’s Jeep parked out front....

Going Beyond the Bar: On the Darker Side of Chocolate, Fair Trade Finds a Sweet Spot

Drying cacao in Peru
Pity the poor quartet of contributors to Edible Rhody who recently had the thankless (not!) job of tasting chocolate samples at Equal...

Mole Poblano at El Rancho Grande

A Little Bit of Chocolate and a Whole Lotta Love Go into Chef and Restaurateur Maria Meza’s Authentic Mexican Dish Since Maria Meza, chef...

The Sampler: For Rhode Island’s Chefs, Bakers and Baristas, Life Is More Than a Box of Chocolates

The Triple Silk at White Horse Tavern
When the temperatures drop, there’s no better way to warm the soul than with a rich, chocolatey indulgence. Rhode Island has an incredible...

The Taste of Chocolate in Colonial Newport

Hot Chocolate
A Brief Local History of our Favorite Natural Mood Elevator If you lived in Newport during the Colonial era, you would be familiar with...
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60