Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What to Eat on Your Reading Break, part one

I tend to be passionate about many things, with books being just one of them. Right now, I am obsessed with Franklin's Fine Chocolate in Bay View. It opened earlier this year across from the Avalon Theatre building, perhaps in the hope that there would one day once again be an Avalon Theatre. Not yet, alas.

Franklin and Sue Di Vilio dip nuts, fruits, creams, and assorted oddities in milk and dark chocolate, based on the recipes of Frank's uncle, who ran a home-based business many years ago from 7th and Becher. The creams come in classic butter and chocolate-filled, as well as raspberry, maple, banana and lime. They dip ginger and toffee and fairy food and Oreos too.
My favorite, however, are the licorice shorties. Just imagine--red licorice cut in thirds, dipped in dark chocolate. You bite into one and the aroma of the licorice is released. It's like eating at Alinea at a fraction of the cost. As an aside, the new book on Alinea is beautiful, and though I was thrilled to see Grant Achatz on "Top Chef", I thought his talents were not appropriate to the episode. And you? I suspect he was originally scheduled for last season and was bumped because of his illness.

Back to the amazing licorice shorties! We're selling them at Schwartz in both milk and dark varieties for a limited time, three packs for $2.75. Frank doesn't have a wholesale license, and frankly (get it?) isn't set up to do wholesale business yet so we are buying them from him retail. Try a pack from us, and I'm sure you'll wind up paying a pilgrimage to Bay View yourself. Alas, we're not selling by mail but Frank is.

Above right, Schwartz marketing director Nancy Quinn savors the tastiness of chocolate-coated licorice.
One last thing about chocolate. We have this really great chocolate-shaped book called Chocolat that includes recipes, selection, philosophy, and pairings. It's very cool--shaped like a chocolate bar. I would also suggest that every chocolate lover read Steve Almond's Candyfreak. I certainly hope you've read this, but if not, it's a must for every lover of things sweet, literary, and independent.

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