living underground in the real world

monday miscellany: sugar edition.

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  • Oh my. You know when a friend of yours is all “I think I’m going to devote my life to making awesome gluten-free and vegan cakes,” and you’re all “Hmm, we’ll see what happens”? Well, I wasn’t like that when Jill Habansky, a fellow Bloodroot alumnus, declared her intention. I was all “YES! Jill will rock the shit out of vegan and gluten-free baking.” And, guess what? She is. Order a cake from her! She made those cupcake beauties above, are they not adorable?
  • Also, a note from my mother: “I wanted to tell you that I heard on TV this morning that Dunkin’ Donuts is having a contest for people to come up with a new doughnut. I thought maybe you could create a vegan doughnut! dunkindonuts.com I think is the site [insert generational joke here—you think it’s the site?]. Vegans everywhere would be so excited!” I am not up for this challenge, but maybe you are? I also don’t know that “vegans everywhere” would be so excited…but my vegan mom would love you, that’s for sure! Do it for her! (Extra hilarity: sous chef Veronica reported to me today that she had pretty much the same conversation with her mom! We think our moms are addicted to DD coffee and it has warped their brains a little.)
  • Thanks to blogreader Ilene for this one: great news! Cadbury is using fair-trade chocolate in the UK! Of course, I wish it was in the US too, and to be honest I have increasing concerns about the usefulness of the fair-trade certification process (just as we all know that the organic certification has come to mean less and less, since a lot of farms cheat and there seems to be corruption, and it’s the same certification process and paperwork for small farms as for giant ones and the USDA is involved so who knows what’s really happening, and and and…) BUT! It is a start, for sure. It doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and buy some Cadbury eggs or anything, but since other people are, it is undoubtedly good. As the mainstream choco world inches toward building a basic level of human decency and fairness into its sourcing process, it frees me up to do ever wilder chocolate projects, and that’s always nice. I like it when the center moves one step to the left and I can take the two steps I’ve been wanting to take all long, do you feel me? I still want to make my own chocolate, that’s what I’m saying!
  • OH!! And! Remember this ridiculously long rant about how hard it is for me to get my chocolate? I got a FUCKING AWESOME email today from the head of the company that recently bought Ambassador saying he read the rant and understands my pain and wants to help me out. Whining works, people! I am going to hopefully get permission to post the email, it was great.
  • And finally: Confidential to the head of a small California-based chocolate company who emailed me the other day telling me that I shouldn’t use Callebaut choco because they are a big multi-national corporation and I should be supporting smaller companies, like his: I’ve tried your chocolate, and while I really love your ethics, your chocolate tastes to me like artificially-flavored chocolate wax. Sorry! I couldn’t think of a polite way to point this out in the email, so I just never responded. If you can find me chocolate that is organic, fair-trade, available on a consistent basis, available in bulk sizes, tastes consistenly amazing, is made with vegan sugar, by a small company, AND is under one zillion dollars a pound (so I don’t have to charge $10 per truffle or something), please let me know! I’m always in the market. I am pinning my hopes these days on Theo—they are not wholesaling right now, but they keep telling me a pricelist should be coming soon…
  • Womens and dudes! Are you local peeps coming to the big giant crazy insane chocolate party in less than a week? Email me to Répondez S’il Vous Plaît if so, OK? Because I am getting worried that the numbers are inching toward (or surging past, I am not quite sure) the three digit mark, and I am wondering if I should buy more booze. lagusta@lagusta.com—I don’t know how to make that a fancy link, just copy and paste! (If you’ve told me you’re coming over Facebook though, no need to email!)

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