Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Swanton Berry Farm - berry truffles - January 8, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Swanton Berry Farm
Olalliberry chocolate truffle
Good - Good +
Weight: .4 oz. (11.32 g.) (estimate) in 1 truffle
Calories: 60 calories (estimate) for 1 truffle
Cost: $N/A gift ($1.50 each)
Purchased from: Swanton Berry Farm store, Davenport, CA

Tayberry chocolate truffle
Good - Good +
Weight: .4 oz. (11.32 g.) (estimate) in 1 truffle
Calories: 60 calories (estimate) for 1 truffle
Cost: $ N/A gift ($1.50 each)
Purchased from: Swanton Berry Farm store, Davenport, CA

Today was Day #8 of Chocolate and Poetry Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate, Seeds and Berries Theme Week.

I spent yesterday on a road trip along the California coast. It was a beautiful, winter day, a great opportunity to walk by the waves, enjoy a nice sunset, and discover new chocolates. We stopped at Swanton Berry Farm (Davenport, CA), a great place out of the city, with a smattering of small farms; and where it was easy to slow down and enjoy life.

Davenport is in an area of the coast (north of Santa Cruz and south of Half Moon Bay), that is famous for berries, berry pies, and, occasionally, berry chocolates.

This morning I enjoyed two generously sized, dark chocolate truffles from yesterday's adventure -- 1 Olalliberry and 1 Tayberry* -- filled with fresh berry flavored chocolate ganache (centers). I believe they may have folded in some fresh berries, or berry jams into the ganache, as there were berry seeds in these chocolates as well.

Poetry and Chocolate
After a trip by the Pacific coast, it was hard not to include a few lines from poets and authors who were great appreciators of the outdoors, such as Wallace Stegner or John Muir. However, I settled on this poem which captured memories of lush, ripe, blackberries:

"Blackberrying" by Sylvia Path

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks ---
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me
To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.

If you are moved to write poetry about chocolate, you may want to visit sites like this for inspiration: www.poemhunter.com, where there are hundreds of submitted chocolate poems.

*Tayberries are a cross between red raspberries and loganberries/blackberries

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