Sunday, February 10, 2008

Talking in the Tearoom - Box 'o' Chocolates

The Chocolate event At the Warehouse was a huge success and we were glad to feature Red Thread Confections and the volunteer group SCRUFF (Spaying Capital Region's Unknown Feral Felines). I did my part by serving sipping chocolate, triple chocolate scones, and red velvet cupcakes with peppermint frosting along with all my teas, lattes and coconut jelly bubble teas.

Since it was the weekend before Valentine's Day, we clearly had chocolate on our minds. My question this weekend was, "When you get a box of chocolates, do you bite into each piece looking for the good ones like the raspberry creams and the nutty ones, or do you eat them like a civilized human being?"

A little disclaimer first; I understand that this questions suggests that a civilized human will eat up an entire box of chocolates whether they like them or not. Although I composed the question because it amused me, I don't really think that eating an entire box of chocolates is a measure of civilization, or even a good idea.

The question did inpsire some serious (or maybe not so serious) discussion about what it means to be civilized and even the nature of civilization. Bubble tea brings that kind of stuff out in people.

Philosophical musings aside, I quickly found out that not everyone likes raspberry creams, or even nuts. And not a single person who responded was willing to commit to a chocolate without a sneak preview. Most people openly admitted to biting and and throwing away the "losers" - coconut was cited repeatedly. A few visitors shared my semi-civilized approach of tearing rather than biting.

We had a couple of very considerate visitors; one with my favorite approach and another with a strategy that I frankly find gross. My favorite box o' chocolate strategy all weekend was poking each piece with a toothpick to try to dig out a bit of filling before biting. That way, the chocolate is not defaced in any measurable way when it is returned to the box if it turns out to be a reject. That is very a considerate, civilized and economical, if not sanitary, approach. The other "considerate" approach I heard was to bite into each piece and return the undesirable ones to the box "in case someone else wants them". I wonder how many times someone actually selected one of the half eaten chocs?

I also learned that if you have gone through enough boxes of chocolates in your life, you don't have to bite or tear or poke, you can just tell by looking at the chocolate.

In between the silliness and to infuse some health into a day of rich decadence, it was a great opportunity for me to showcase some of my chocolate teas. When I first got into tea, I couldn't even imagine the combination of chocolate and tea, but I have learned that given the right combination, it can work out beautifully. I was featuring a chocolate raspberry flavored tea that offers a subtle richness and fruitiness and also had a chance to share my chocolate chai and mint chocolate chip teas, both of which have real chocolate chunks in them!

If you're around on Valentine's Day, I'll be at Larry Schepici's Le Marche Vert in Troy offering a tasting of some of my chocolate and floral teas from 11-2 or so. Happy Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

Kelly Hills said...

"When you get a box of chocolates, do you bite into each piece looking for the good ones like the raspberry creams and the nutty ones, or do you eat them like a civilized human being?"
I still maintain this is not a values-neutral question. ;-)

It was great to see you last weekend - thanks for the warm welcome back! I may or may not actually get out of my house today in time to stop by for a cup of tea, but if not this weekend, then definitely next.