I had a lovely birthday. Before I talk about the delicious gift that was waiting for me in the mail today, I have to share the rest of my day yesterday.
My sweet coworkers (who are more wonderful than I could have even asked for) surprised me with colorful gerber daisies and a banner at my desk. I had a cheeseburger for lunch from my favorite local burger spot, Baha Burger. And for dinner, we enjoyed a fabulous meal at local eatery Bettola. I started with a Campari and soda, as well as Caprese salad with locally grown heirloom tomatoes and fior di latte mozzarella. For my entree, I chose Bettola's homemade tagliatelle with pork ragu bianco, which is basically a tomato-less meat sauce. To die for...the sauce was silky and perfectly seasoned. We all shared an almond cake for dessert and a bottle of Montepulciano wine. Love!
And today, I was so excited to find a gift from one of my best friends Peyton—two amazing artisinal chocolates that she found at a museum in Boston. The company, Taza Chocolate, uses traditional Mexican stone mills to grind the chocolate, giving it an interesting, rustic texture (i.e. not waxy in the least). How cool, too, that it's completely organic, and the cacao comes from a small co-op in the Dominican Republic. I couldn't wait to break into the salted almond variety, which was heavenly. The other one, infused with guajillo chilis (pictured above), is also delicious...the spice is very subtle and only announces itself right at the end before you swallow...like a little surprise.
Salt and chili peppers might seem like totally strange things to some people to put in chocolate, but for me and my not-so-sweet tooth, it cuts the sugariness (even of dark varieties) and enhances the flavor of the chocolate itself.
Thanks, P, for such a thoughtful, tasty birthday gift!