A Chocolate Ode to New York
New York City is one of the world's greatest destinations for chocolate lovers, as it is for so many other varieties of people. It's also my hometown, and the epicenter of my favorite chocolate memories. On my most recent trip, I managed to get back and forth between enough subway stations to pick up a tiny box of feminine-hued champagne chocolates at MarieBelle and a set of rock-star-themed bon bons created by Garrison Confections and labeled by the Chocolate Bar. But I didn't even make it across the Manhattan Bridge for my favorite cup of hot chocolate at Jacques Torres's headquarters in Brooklyn. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Torres stepped out his role as pastry chef at famed Le Cirque to open his own chocolate factory. He then popularized the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO, chocolate drinks spiced with ancho and chipotle chiles, and--most importantly--the idea that fine chocolate needs complex and innovative flavors more than a Madison Avenue address.
Last week, it looked like I might have had the chance to visit the Jacques Torres shop after all. Out of the blue, a bigwig expressed interest in my chocolate knowledge, and tempted me with a business trip to New York. But timing is everything in the big city and the schedules just didn't line up. At this rate, my plane might not land at JFK until sometime in 2007. So I implore all of you who are lucky enough to be in that great city not to repeat my mistake: Make your way to DUMBO and buy yourself a Wicked Hot Chocolate!
And for those of you with even more time to spare in NYC, Candy Blog provides a very detailed guide for visiting chocoholics, and the new magazine Chocolate Zoom covers everything cacao-related in the city.