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The Competition

snow 23 °F

A Valentine invitation to attend a Chocolate Competition featuring the best chocolate from the Capital/Saratoga/Adirondack regions landed 10 friends in the judges seats. The evening took place in Warrensburgh on the coldest day of the year...2 hours from my home and snowing sideways...but, can you say CHOCOLATE!!

First of all, the menu this evening is incredible. Two homemade soups: Red Lentil and a Salmon/Cod Chowder. Appetizers: Stuffed Mushrooms,, Scallop and Shrimp Croquettes with a delicious dipping sauce, Roasted Red Peppers with anchiovies and black olives, a cheese plate and a Baked Brie with raspberries. Add to this a fine selection of wine. It is wonderful to all be together to celebrate "Love Month", gathering around the crackling fire, snow falling outside and, lucky us, to be enjoying good food, good friends and good times.

As if we haven't already had enough to eat, dinner is served. We are seated at the table and our first course arrives; homemade Orecchiette which is an Italian pasta originating from Southern Italy. The name translates in English to "little ears", hence the shape. The Orecchiette is complimented by a wonderful tomato sauce. Next we have Braciole with raisins and toasted pine nuts and meatballs accompanied by a fresh green salad with white cannellini beans and fresh string beans, dressed with a lemon vinigrette...and homemade garlic bread as a side. Of course, more vino.

A special moment of the evening includes a birthday wish complete with a heart-shaped meatloaf (candle included) to celebrate the 16th birthday of a special family member, Sam-Sam. Happy Sweet 16!!


(Kenny G softly playing in the background)...An intermezzo! The moment has arrived: The Chocolate Competition! Three types of chocolate; a milk, a dark and a white. Three categories; Butter Crunch, Raspberry Truffle and a White Almond Bark. Two popular Chocolatiers; Krauses, Central Avenue, Albany, NY and Uncle Sam's, Albany Street, Schenectady, NY. Champagne and strawberries were served as palette cleansers. On the leader board: names of judges, categories of chocolates and chocolatiers A and B to be revealed upon completion of contest. Master of ceremonies explains the rules: we will go in order of judges on board, tasting in order of category...first, Buttercrunch, Second, Raspberry Truffle and finally, White Almond Bark. One at a time, each one of us tastes each delicious chocolate and selects our favorite in each category. Most have a comment: buttery, rich, too sweet, not sweet enough...others have more interesting descriptions comparing the chocolates to a dance: a disco or a waltz and still others had undertones and overtones hitting them at different times.


The numbers tell the story..and the favorite chosen by this group of chocolate aficionados is: Krause's!!


Still some time for coffee and dessert: individual Cherry Cheesecakes, Heart-shaped Sugar Cookies and a Swiss Apple cake..round out the evening!

It is midnight and time to hit the road for the long drive home...but it has been so worth it, I wouldn't have missed it. As we are about to leave, our host and hostess present us with a departing gift! A bar of...you guessed it...Chocolate!!! You can never have enough! Thank you for a wonderful evening.....

Maybe all you do need is Love...or is it chocolate?...Well, you know the saying : "moderation in all things...except Love and Chocolate!"

I agree!!



Posted by Linda Fluckiger 04:43 Archived in USA Tagged chocolate day uncle sams albany adirondack valentine's krauses schenectady warrensburgh

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