Friday, September 28, 2012

A Chocolate-y Guest Post!


by the fabulous Stef AKA Motherocker AKA our cousin!

Like a bolt from the blue I got the message in my inbox from component X of team BCD. Xani had tix to Gourmet Walks ULTRA Chocolate tour in downtown San Francisco, but had a change of plans at the last minute. Would I be able to step in and fill her shoes? Three hours of walking around downtown SF that started with a martini and ended with a wine tasting and was filled with all manner of high-quality chocolate tasting in betwixt. It was a tall order, but I was up for the challenge.

 

Our journey began at the luxurious Le Meridien hotel. Our guide, Ahmet Aydogan (weekday photographer, weekend chocolate expert) graciously found my companion and I wandering the lobby and ushered us to the meeting spot. We were soon joined by the rest of our fellow tourists. As we waited (and waited, and waited) for our first tasting of the day, Ahmet gave us the run-down on how the afternoon would progress and then launched into an interesting and informative chocolate history lesson. I won a chocolate for guessing that the Mayans were the first to discover chocolate’s aphrodisiac qualities! But I had no idea that chocolate beverage houses existed before coffee or tea establishments in Europe, although they served a very different beverage than what we are now accustomed to. Apparently there was a thick layer of grease on top as they hadn’t figured out how to separate out the cocoa butter. But once that happened it was only short distance to the invention of chocolate as a confection. We learned that chocolate at its’ most basic consists of only 3 ingredients, chocolate, cocoa butter and sugar. Varying the amounts of the ingredients is what gives each product it’s unique flavor. Poor Ahmet was nearly done with his talk by the time the hotel bar finally had our drinks ready- chocolate martinis! I have to say, this was the only underwhelming part of the tour for me. It was a pretty standard chocolate martini. I don’t know if it was the environment or the name of the tour but I was expecting something with a little more wow factor. At least jazz up your presentation by lining the rim Le Meridien!

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