Friday, February 13, 2009

The Veggie Queen's Vegan Valentine's Day

Most of my favorite foods are naturally vegan because they are "real food", not processed. They include all kinds of vegetables, especially beets and greens at this time of year, chocolate, dates and other dried fruit, and, of course, chocolate.

I have always liked chocolate and my favorite has always been dark. When I was a kid and could have candy bars, I liked Mounds best because of the dark chocolate but always wished that Almond Joy came in dark chocolate. Now it does but it's just so inferior to the single origin and very dark bars that one can get these days.

I have written about chocolate a couple of times for Natural Food Network magazine and I don't seem to tire of the subject, especially if there is tasting involved. Just like most other plant foods, but possibly even more so, chocolate is complex. The flavors can often be compared to wine in their descriptions.

When I've done chocolate tastings in my vegetarian cooking classes, everyone tastes something different in the bars. One that I really liked and found fruity and deep, someone thought tasted like mushrooms.

And when someone asks what something tastes like, I've come to answer that I cannot know because I am not in your mouth. And I will stand by that.

I tried a lot of chocolate at the Fancy Food show and was most impressed by the Amano chocolate, among others. If you can find it, give it a try. Or hold your own chocolate tasting with your friends. Remember, the dark chocolate is vegan, and that's got to be good.

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