Lenten Chocolates: Guilt Free!
Are you a pleasure monger?
I am. Guilt totally takes a back seat in our kitchen because we love butter, chocolate, ice cream, carbs, and any drink that tastes really good. I love to eat; ergo, we exercise often to keep a good balance with our passion for food.
My pleasure-driven lifestyle began during childhood in Ohio and was clearly on evidence every Sunday after my parents made us go to church. My family attended 8:30am mass followed religiously by a visit to the neighborhood donut shop. While my siblings ordered humbler items such as glazed and jelly donuts, I generally opted for the most extravagant item in the case such as the puff pastry filled with cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
What inspired my young dreams of foodie grandeur? Perhaps I had too much Lent as a child: always with the “give up this” and “give up that,” so I lived it up when I could, including ordering cream horns right after church. ; )
Sample a taste of the bottle you plan to buy at a bar before investing in the whole thing. For example, the herbal liqueurs the Carthusian monks make at the Grand Chartreuse monastery in the mountains above Grenoble, France might not be to your taste. The Carthusians offer some cocktail recipes for indulging in their liqueur, including one called the Carthusian Flip, which makes me think of a monk on a diving board.
- Procure fair trade chocolate ingredients from a specialty chocolatier such as SLO’s Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates to ensure your chocolate dollars directly support cocoa farmers around the world.
- Emulate Mark Bittman, who makes truffle production look ridiculously simple in this Minimalist piece, with video.
If you’re a pleasure monger trying to navigate Lent, know that you can skip the confessional because your indulgence in the good life has also helped support monasteries and low-income farmers. Win-win yum-yum!
truffle photo: Natalie Rich