I often say – hardly joking – that I started the Utah Chocolate Society for the chocolate, and I keep it going for the society. The people of the world of fine chocolate are so fun people.
Teaching classes to people new to chocolate, sharing my stash at work, and sharing in the nerdy discussion at ChocSoc have been my favorite social activities of the last decade. But what about the poor people who are not fortunate enough to live near enough by to partake in the fun? How to include them?
People from out of town have attended various classes I have taught as guests of locals or by random chance, and they love it! And of course they do! ChocSoc members have brought friends and family to meetings, and it is kind of funny watching them plunge headlong into friendly, nerdy conversation (with only some ribbing – the unspoken rule is it only goes to and from me) about a world they may not have known even exists!
Enter the Chocolate Fascination podcast.
Yesterday, my podcast became available on Apple Podcast, Google Play, and Stitcher. My hope is that people who otherwise would never have heard of fine chocolate will have another avenue by which to discover something so dang lovable. Beyond that, I want to compile ideas from a range of people heavily involved in the chocolate world – from the farmers to the retailers. I want to find and share the experiences of the human beings behind this amazing, superficially simple food.
I am starting out with a couple episodes of me talking, and then an interview with Anna and Robbie of Ritual Chocolate. The first one is me explaining how fine chocolate is made, and how it differs from mass-produced chocolate bars. The second goes over how we sense our food – especially as it pertains to chocolate. Pop quiz: How many senses do we humans possess? Do you think 5? Not even close – and this is backed up with the current science of the day, though scientists cannot agree on the exact number. What sense do we most lean on to gather information about the world around us? Many people are not well-versed in engaging their various senses, deliberately, in tasting their food.
Fine chocolate is not meant to be merely a snack, or sustenance. My third entry, an interview with the good people behind Ritual chocolate, highlights how much of a passion play making chocolate is. People don’t make fine chocolate because they want to pump up their numbered accounts in the Cayman Islands. Sharing food with people is an act of love, and when you have a guest for whom you really care coming round for dinner, I would bet you don’t tend to make bologna sandwiches. You put effort into dinner, and the reasons go deep into our past in terms of wanting to care for people and share life with them. As we become more capable of caring for people, we have programmed deep within us to put more thought and feeling into feeding people. Chocolate makers in the fine chocolate tradition – though admittedly a new one – pour their souls into their work. Despite chocolate-making processes seeming so similar across chocolate makers, every producer has an individual style evident in every bar they make. Robbie and Anna very obviously care deeply about the food they are putting into the world.
I have A LOT of content already recorded, and a bunch more interviews planned. I hope to release at least 1 episode per week, and I look forward so much to learning from all the fascinating people along the way – and sharing the journey with you!