Thursday, April 30, 2009

Luca Chocolate on Chocolate Covered Bacon

On April 30th we were fortunate to have Leslie from Luca Chocolate grace us with our first live interview on Chocolate Covered Bacon-The best in independent food finds. The show airs live on Blockhead Radio, on Thursdays at 6PM EST, 5PM Central. Just in case you missed it, even for those who didn’t, I would like to recap the interview for you. Also if you listened in I may have some more insights to Luca Chocolate, as I have some questions that I asked that never made it on air!

First, we would like to thank Leslie for taking the time to come on air with us. It was loads of fun to chat with her and to learn more about her wonderful products. I had never thought about how much went into making chocolate before. Leslie talked about how long it takes her to develop new flavors and she worked for nearly a year on the concept before Luca Chocolate even sold a piece of chocolate. It takes Leslie about 8 weeks to take a new flavor from concept to a completed product ready to sell. Leslie sure does put a lot into each product that is created! One question that I really wanted to know is where she got the name. Leslie told us that the name actually came from her horse, which I must say is a beautiful name, not just for the horse but for the chocolate too!

We discovered Luca Chocolate by doing a search for, you guessed it, “Chocolate Covered Bacon” on Foodzie. It is a great site filled with independent food producers from throughout the country. I discovered her Bacon Box and thought that I just had to have her on. The picture made me just want to nibble at the screen. What a great variety of chocolates in the box, including not only Chocolate Covered Crispy Bacon pieces dusted with Sea Salt, but also some Chocolate Covered Bacon topped Caramels. These just sound wonderful: the sugary sweetness of the caramel almost imitates the delectable flavor of fresh maple syrup that accidentally poured onto your bacon with breakfast. Top that with some milk or dark chocolate and you have a dessert made in heaven.

In talking with Leslie prior to the live interview I asked her two questions that she had no idea were actually intertwined. I asked what her favorite product that she made is and what her favorite scent is. Leslie’s favorite product to eat was the Vanilla Butter Cream Truffles, which not only look amazing, but sound divine! Her response to one of her favorite scents was vanilla, not the extract that you get from the grocery store, but the fresh bean pods that she has brought in just for her chocolates. I have to agree with her; if you have never smelled fresh vanilla you don’t know what you’re missing. Much like chocolate, there are many kinds of the vanilla out there with each one there tiny nuances that change the flavor ever so slightly.

It is amazing how much your sense of smell influences your sense of taste. For food artists their sense of smell is much like painters’ eyes. A painter finds it difficult to paint with out the use of their eyes much as a food artist finds it difficult to create without their sense of smell. As you create with your sense of smell you begin to learn just what to add to make your taste buds light up! Leslie mentioned when creating new chocolates your taste buds start to acclimate to the new flavors, and that the sense of smell helps to continue the creative process when this occurs.

Much of the inspiration for Leslie’s chocolate is from the fruits, nuts, and flowers of the season. She has a great limited supply of floral inspired chocolates just for Mothers day! Which is much like a bouquet of flowers for Mom, but mom can eat them! Her aim is to provide “classic flavor combination's with a twist”. She uses the knowledge of food science and the cooking techniques she learned by attending French cooking school. After many years in a traditional kitchen, she felt like being a pastry chef was more to her liking, and returned to school to get her education. From there she went on to create Luca Chocolate, and well that is definitely a good thing, otherwise how would we have found such great items.

In the next several years Leslie would like to get more involved with the wedding market allowing for a more steady flow of business through out the year. As a Chocolatier much of her business is during the major candy holidays. She also offers a chocolate of the month club that you can join, and she would like to see that grow as well. In the next year or so one of her close friends and her chocolate supplier is moving to making more of their own handmade chocolate, so she plans to switch more of her supply to his great blends of milk and dark chocolate.

Luca Chocolate is also available at several places outside of just being online. You can find a list of locations on her website. Want a sample? Keep up with her on her blog, she will tell you where she’s doing her live demos, possibly in your area. You can find Luca Chocolate online on Foodzie, Etsy and her own site Luca Chocolate. She will be looking into opening a twitter account as well, keep checking in on her to find out what she’s up to.

I hope you enjoyed the show and if you missed it: I hope you have enjoyed catching up on what you missed. Don’t forget to join us live on Thursday May 7th for our feature on LiberTeas of artfire and many other places too. Now head on over to one of Luca Chocolate’s sites and satisfy your cravings, and don’t forget to tune into Blockhead Radio to stir your own creativity!

--James – The ClosetCreature – Your Host

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome to Chocolate Covered Bacon The Radio Show!

Hello everyone and welcome to Chocolate Covered Bacon-The Best in Independent Food Finds! I am James, your host, you can find me in the Blockhead Radio Chat as ClosetCreature. My goal is to bring the best independent food producers that I can find each week live on Blockhead Radio. You can listen in free at anytime by going to the Blockhead Radio site and popping a player! While your there why not join us in chat, you can ask us questions live in chat, and we will ask the guest live on air! Come by and see if we can satisfy your cravings, with another episode of Chocolate Coverd Bacon, live Thursdays at 6PM EST, 5PM Central!

--James, your host (ClosetCreature in BHR Chat)