Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Like dirt water for chocolate

We spent last weekend in Portland with the Cudworths. Missy and I had a fabulous time shopping on 23rd and stopped to enjoy some seasonal beers at McMenamins while the boys played in a golf tournament.

That’s Missy’s beer on the left, Copper Moon, a pale ale; and mine on the right, Purple Haze, made with Marionberries. Mine was light, fruity and very girly. I just learned last week that a Marionberry is a type of blackberry. I always thought it was its own fruit. Or a congressman from Arkansas.

We also visited Moonstruck Chocolatier, my very favorite chocolate shop. A visit to Portland mandates a stop at Moonstruck. Pictured is a Bailey’s Irish Crème truffle, which lasted for approximately 23 seconds following its time in front of the camera. Their creations are not only delicious, but clever. Right now they’re featuring political truffles — donkeys and elephants! And my personal favorite, the milk chocolate lab. Although the puppies are almost too cute to eat.

Moonstruck makes the most amazingly smooth, melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate. I know it’s en vogue to snub milk chocolate, but I’m taking a stand in its defense. I prefer milk chocolate’s flavor and texture to that of dark. I recently tried some “high-end” dark chocolate with a texture that can accurately be described as remarkably similar to a gnawed on bar of Ivory soap. If you’re in the 77 percent cocoa mass club, that’s OK. You’ll come around sooner or later and realize that just because someone at FruFru Foodie Magazine told you super-dark chocolate is superior, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

Our stay wrapped up with a luau (held at the previously mentioned location in the “Flush valves and flappers” post) and we helped decorate by pinning strawberries on the pineapple palm tree. I ate a lot while I worked — seems to be a recurring theme with me. We were also treated to our first traditional Fijian kava drinking ceremony.

Fijians commonly hold social gatherings centered around a drink called "grog," made by pounding sun-dried kava root into a fine powder and mixing it with cold water. Kava is known for being anti-yummy, i.e., it tastes like sour mud, but the group bonding experience of passing around coconut bowls and drinking dirt water was fun.

“Bula!” (That's what you say when you're finished.)


Anonymous said...

Bula bula, Hillary! My name is Darin Linnman, and I’m the PR director here at Moonstruck Chocolate Co. I wanted to thank you for your kind words about our chocolate, and to validate your feelings about milk chocolate, in particular. Our chocolatier is fond of saying that milk chocolate gets a bad rap, so you’re not alone in your beliefs. You are also right in that dark chocolate does not necessarily translate into higher quality — it just means the chocolate has a higher cocoa content and less milk and sugar. So there can be good and bad dark chocolate just the same as there can be good and bad milk chocolate. It really comes down to a matter of preference — some people prefer the less sweet, more bitter taste of dark chocolate, while others have a need to feed their sweet tooth with the sweeter milk chocolate. Whichever type chocolate lovers prefer, we are just happy that they choose to enjoy our offerings!

Having honeymooned in Fiji, I am also all too familiar with kava ceremonies, so that part of your post brought a smile to my face, as well. It’s fun to see that people have brought that island tradition back to the NW.

Thank you again for your support, and as they like to say in Fiji, “Keep smiling!”

Missy said...

A trip to 23rd is not complete without a trip to Moonstruck. Dreaming of that hot cocoa candle we found there....

*Clap, clap* BULA!

jenny said...

wow! guess you better watch what you post!! lol! speaking of which- when do we get another posting- it's been a week!! haha- have you nothing to say? that's not the hillary i know!!

Emily said...

I heard a rumor... (actually I read a comment directly from you on the demars blog) that you'll only be updating Team O once a week. What gives? Your fans want more.

Hillary said...

The things that seem to give when I update my blog more than once a week are, in no particular order: laundry, dishes, exercise, vacuuming, dusting, grocery shopping, and whipping up delicious things to write about!!