Monday, February 14, 2011

Portrait of the Divine in Chocolate

Feliz Dia de San Valentin!

My mother, sister, and I have a tradition where every year on this day we wish each other a Happy VD. Call us sophomoric, but I still think it's funny.

It's a grey day in Sunny Santa Rosa and I sit at the Flying Goat Coffee Shop off of Railroad Square. It's the loveliest pastel puse colored coffee shop that ever there was, and their hot chocolate truly is divine. And it's just enough! Drinking it took me back to another place in another life where my friend Tara and I would go to the nameless bistro on Pacific Avenue whenever we were down and sushi was just too expensive. We would sit there, drinking hot chocolate, surrounding ourselves with sparkly tablecloths, nice lighting, and dreams of other places. I eventually went to work at that place, learned of its name, and being on that side of the counter totally ruined the international dream for me, but tasting this chocolate brings me back to those evenings, finding joy and satisfaction at the bottom of a girly glass mug.

These chocolates are even better because they're served in a sturdy, androgynous white cafe mug with a teensy little spoon and a saucer to match. Also, there's no need for whipped cream, because the milk is foamed and incorporated seamlessly into the crema so you're left with a beautiful cappucino-esque finish on the top. And the talented baristas swirl the two colors together. The effect is almost enough to move you to not drink it, just because it's so beautiful, but the smell will compel you onward. Aztec Mochas at Flying Goat Coffee get the Boundless Optimism Chapter of the Food Cult's approval.

I wish I had the foresight to take a picture of this beautiful creation before I drank it all, but I couldn't hold back, so this is just coffee. But the coffee is pretty good too.

My friend Jay is a particular fan of Mochas and crepes as well. He's the only person I know who can make a great mocha at home, and it's mostly the hot chocolate he uses. It's ibarra, hand shaved, and lovingly prepared. Each christmas he sends out a package of Jay's Chocolate complete with instructions: "Pour the contents into a mug, add milk, and microwave for a minute, just like the Aztecs did".

I should go and wish Jay a happy VD too. He might even think it's funny.

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