Yummy Chocolate/Cocoa Bean World
Who doesn’t love chocolate?!!! Since it’s introduction to Europeans from Mayan rituals “food for the gods”, the cocoa bean, and its flavoring counterpart, the vanilla bean, have been embraced heartily worldwide! It is impossible to now see advertisements for Mother’s Day Gifts, Valentine’s Day, or other special occasions, that doesn’t feature chocolate in some form or the other. And, of course, since chocolate is reputed to be a great aphrodisiac, that only adds to its appeal! 🙂 Vanilla Bean
The Mayan natives added Vanilla to flavor their chocolate offering to their gods. Again, what would the modern day world be without that ubiquitous bean as well? It always amuses me that Vanilla is referred to most times as “bland, pale, unexciting”. How ridiculous! The real Vanilla bean is a dark chocolate color, and when inhaled, really uplifts you to a very special, delightful, aromatic place! Vanilla and Chocolate are portrayed as the yin/yang colors, but in fact in nature, they are the same color, totally complementing each other. In fact, when I created natural perfumes for clients, the first thing we noticed was that Vanilla had a sweetly chocolate aroma! Cocoa bean (cacao) also had a Vanilla note (along with Cinnamon, Clove, etc) to it!
How to serve these wonderful gifts? Let me count the ways.
I personally, love gourmet chocolate candies. My favorite chocolates are the Swiss or Belgian kind, or homemade. I also have a fondness for the English chocolates, like Fry’s and the real Cadbury’s. I also love chocolate souffle, especially when served with a Grand Marnier sauce. I love Vanilla/Chocolate swirl ice cream, and chocolate sauce poured over Vanilla Ice Cream. I love good, rich Hot Chocolate like the French make, and a sprinkling of chocolate powder over my coffee.
Chocolate Souffle with Grand Marnier Sauce: What a Treat!!!
I do not like overly dense chocolate like that found in most chocolate cakes with chocolate icing, and just looking at the German chocolate cake makes my teeth ache! I understand that these cakes have a large, loyal following, but I personally like my chocolate with a lighter touch!
There are so many wonderful ways to use Cocoa and Vanilla. Join me on this journey in discovering and discussing standard ways, and new ways. I’ll also include recipes and suggested places to purchase the best chocolate and vanilla!
And What are Celebrations Without Some Kind of Chocolate?
One of my absolute favorite places to shop in New York City, is Dean & DeLuca! I used to haunt that place on Saturday afternoons, picking up the gourmet items I could afford that week, and ending the day with one of their fresh baked pastries and a mug of steaming coffee — heaven!!! That place is definitely a New York treasure, and valued by all. Now, you can imagine my joy in finding out that I haven’t left that lovely place behind when I relocated! I can get their wonderful foods delivered to me with the click of a button! And so can you, my dear readers. They have on special yummy Chocolate Quail Eggs
These Chocolate Quail Eggs are normally $27, but today are on sale for $13.50.
Do your tummy and soul a favor by getting some delicious chocolate today! And, check out the other tempting and high quality treats in the links we provided for your enjoyment.
And What Would Mother’s Day Be Without Chocolate?
The Actress Sarah Michelle Geller has a new foodie business called Foodstirs, a wonderful site focused on Mother/Daughter things to create. Click on the link directly above to access all the things this site has to offer!
In our next Marketplace of Delights Blog, we will have some yummy Mother’s Day gift suggestions for you.
The Cocoa (Cacao) Bean
Did you know the Cocoa Bean is rich in fats? Do yourself a favor, be adventurous and buy some Cocoa Beans and start experimenting! Also, in my Marketplace of Delights Blog, we will be talking about Cocoa Beans.
To make a Cocoa Tea Brew, you will need to grate the bean, with a small grater. Add hot water (about 2 cups) and bring to a rolling boil, for at least 10 to 15 minutes. During the boil, you will notice fat molecules separating from the powder and rising to the top. When this brew is ready, you will smell that wonderful chocolate aroma! Before taking it off the stove, grate a little nutmeg or cinnamon over it, and add milk if you wish. You can also stick a vanilla bean in it or add a few drops of vanilla essence. And, to really celebrate, you can add a tablespoon of dark rum to this drink. Delicious!
By the way, that lovely fatty molecule that separates during heating of the bean, is really great for the skin. Mix it with plain yogurt and a tablespoon honey to make your very own excellent chocolate face mask.
There are just so many ways to enjoy the “gift of the gods.” So, let’s start adding chocolate in some form as a treat for our souls! Also, consider trying the Organic, Dark Chocolate type and feel even more righteous!
Because there is always synchronicity, would you believe it, a new Meetup class just opened up in my neighborhood called Healing Ceremonies With Cacao, teaching about the old Mayan rituals! This is definitely an example of the Cosmic Consciousness in action. I might very well join this group, as I would love to learn about some of these rituals. If I join, I will certainly share what I learned with you, because sharing is caring, isn’t it?
Thanks for following along. Please plan on joining us again often. Also, we would love your feedback, questions, contributions and other input in the comments section below. 🙂