New Flavors

I confess that my attitude towards white chocolate has been that of a cruel stepmother. Dark chocolate has been the "blue-eyed boy". For the longest time, I regarded white chocolate with a mix of disdain and pity. And then, on a cold february afternoon, as nippy gusts scurried about Canandaigua lake, I got to know Callier...

A couple weekends ago, I found myself at a 'Chocolate Workshop', surreptiously introducing vast amounts of chocolate into my caffeine-stream. In this happy state of chocolate induced euphoria, I heard the words 'White Chocolate Bark'. I zoned out... expecting the ghastly abomination that I have come to associate with those fearsome words. In front of my very eyes, a gleaming, creamy vision made of melted Callier white chocolate chips was deftly smoothed onto cookie trays lined with parchment paper. Minutes ticked by. We added a few caramel and dark chocolate highlights. It was purdy and all, but I remained dubious and I planned to use it for 'gifting' ;)

And then, unable to resist, I tasted it. From the first morsel to the last lingering sumptuous aftertaste, it was lavishly luscious. Unabashedly satisfying. Forgive me white chocolate, I kneel before thee in humble apology. You have shown me bliss!

Speaking of delightful, new flavors, I had the good fortune to attend a recent concert by the Kronos Quartet. They've been making music for over thirty years now. And what splendid music it is! To be sure, it was an eclectic repertoire but it was worth every minute.

The concert was set in Eastman Theater, a visual treat in itself. Very much enjoyed, among other things, a rendition of Pandit Ram Narayan's Mishra Bhairavi on the viola. The cello stood in for the tanpura! They had some wonderful folksy Iraqi stuff as well as some very funky new music. True to their creative credo, their music was energetic, and alive, and not afraid to kick ass!

On their first encore, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. They brought alive a piece played at Woodstock - Jimi Hendrix' version of the Star Spangled Banner. The wizards at Eastman played with the lighting effects. Like flames smouldering on the magnificent walls, light and shadow, in tune with man and string, moved with frenetic energy.

The second encore, in delightful counterpoint, was their version of Mehbooba Mehbooba from Sholay! Pancham da's booming voice and the palpably bootilicious rhythm of Mehbooba Mehbooba took on a surprisingly playful yearning in Kronos' version titled 'Beloved, O Beloved'. If you're shaking your head in disbelief, listen to it on Amazon. Its the quartet's fourth most downloaded song on iTunes and you'll immediately know why!!

Quick hugs to all my friends who shared in these adventures :)


Asha said...

I love the white chocolate and prefer it to the brown ones.Looks delicious.Happy Holi and have fun.

Laura Rebecca said...

Have you tried Green & Black's white chocolate bar? It's exceptional!

trupti said...

I don't know why but I don't think I will ever like White Chocolate....I have tried the finest...but still, I can't warm up to it.....
will have to come up to your neck of the woods sometime, maybe I'll change my mind?


ServesYouRight said...

Thanks Asha!

Laura Rebecca - Welcome! While I am not a snob when it comes to chocolate, I suspected that the Callier chips had a lot to do with the end product. Can't wait to try Green & Black!! Many thanks for the tip :-)


ServesYouRight said...

Trupti - 's okay :-) Will definitely save some of that white chocolate bark for you. Btw - the woman at the Indian grocery store loves me. I bought vast amounts patra and undhiyo :-)


Sandeepa said...

Am not fond of white chocolate either, white just does not go with chocolate
You seemed to have a great workshop. Did they teach you to make some, (that is what I understood)

David said...

White chocolate? Aaaack!! Glorious Theobroma cacao adulterated with cheap, colourless glop! Et tu Brute! Door ho jao meri nazaron se!

Davidus Caesar

trupti said...

hahah,is the store owner a Gujju too? you know, I am going to make some Bajra Vadas soon...wish you lived closer, I'd send something over every few days!
be sure to participate in my Winter food swing event, there's prizes to be won!

ServesYouRight said...

Sandeepa - ya, I signed up for a Chocolate Workshop at the New York Wine and Culinary Institute. Was a lot of fun. Met a bunch of people and they all had very good things to say about their previous experiences at the NYWCC. Good stress buster :-)


ServesYouRight said...

David -

A thousand apologies! I have sinned! In my defense, you see I was trying out a non-discrimination policy when it comes to chocolate ;) In order to atone for this transgression I will post the happy story of Dark Chocolate truffles :)


burekaboy — said...

OMG! white chocolate haters??!! it's a food group for me! i LOVE LOVE LOVE it. i remember, as a kid, breaking the ears off a white chocolate bunny i bought behind my parents back (oops!) and falling in love with it.