Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Just the mere mention of the word “chocolate” causes many to drool, become orgasmic.
Sarah Leech-Black, a contributor to The Christian Science Monitor opened a recent column this way:
“A steaming mug of hot cocoa topped with a billow of whipped cream and stirred with a stick of peppermint has long been a holiday favorite.”
Then in her very next sentence, she had to go and ruin it.
Leech-Black unabashedly writes, “But the next time you come indoors to escape winter's frosty air, how about a zing of chili pepper in that mug?”
“Savory surprises are turning up in everything from chocolate bars to chocolate truffles. Deep milk chocolate meets curry powder and coconut flakes. Venezuelan white chocolate mingles with kalamata olives. Dark chocolate joins ginger, wasabi, and black sesame seeds. These chocolate matchups are no strangers to Vosges Haut-Chocolat's line of exotic candy bars. "Mo's Bacon Bar," introduced this fall, blends milk chocolate, Applewood smoked bacon, and Alder salt.”
Apparently dumping ingredients that would set your eyebrows on fire into chocolate has become the newest, hippest trend in chocolate-making with consumers shelling out top dollar for these new “luxury” chocolates with sales past $2 billion a year.
Brendan Gannon, owner of La Tene Chocolate in Boston hand crafts her candies, including one called, "Dazu,” It’s a truffle with lemon zest and Sichuan peppercorns topped with candied ginger. He also makes what he calls the "World's Best Peanut Butter Cup," a large candy cup of dark chocolate filled with crunchy, roasted peanut butter and sea salt.
Here’s what I find interesting and revealing.
In his book, "Making Artisan Chocolates," author Andrew Garrison Shotts, owner of Garrison Confections in Providence, Rhode Island admits that even he, a professional chocolatier, must use trial and error in order to discover the right combination and proportions of chocolate and spices.
So, my question is, how many guinea pigs and Alka-Seltzer’s do these confectionery Frankenstein’s go through before they strike that perfect balance of cocoa and Tabasco?
Leech-Black of the Christian Science Monitor says that on a chilly autumn evening, she experimented with hot chocolate, tossing in dried cumin and grated orange.
Not bad, she thought.
“Satisfied with my first attempt, my eyes drift back to the pantry,” said Leech-Black. “Curry, coriander, chipotle, tarragon, even garlic. Garlic? Maybe. Then, I remember the bacon in my refrigerator. Why not?”
PREVIOUS CULINARY NO-NO’S
1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream…..like black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked