For more than 2,000 years, chocolate has had universal appeal. The cacao tree was first discovered in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. The pods of the tree contain seeds, also known as the cocoa bean, which can be processed into chocolate. The story of how chocolate grew from a local Mesoamerican beverage into a delicious, decadent sweet encompasses many cultures and continents.
Chocolate is often used in cookies, cakes, candy bars and other desserts. But chocolate is wonderful alone, and it can become a true culinary experience when savored with different foods and beverages. The range of flavors that complement chocolate is amazing. Some combinations are classic – coffee, red wine, almonds and caramel are a few tried-and-true pairings. Others are more unexpected, such as salty snacks or favorite fruits. And for something truly different, try a chocolate fondue with a variety of foods to experiment with different tastes and find out what combinations you like best.
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