From Sweet 2012 to Even Sweeter 2013
Happy New Year to all !
2012 was simply an extraordinary year. It was incredibly exciting on both a personal and professional level. Best and most important of all was my newest and most delicious sweet indulgence that I continue to devour every single day… our little girl !! A happy and healthy baby who will absolutely have a sweet tooth like her mother when she’s older ! With her in my belly or with her in the baby carrier, my discoveries continued throughout the year: Swiss villages untouched by modern technology, chocolate brands from around the world, markets near and far and local sweet specialties wherever our travels took us.
Lots to look back on in 2012 and lots more to come in 2013…
There were chocolate tastings galore, roundups including bars from Bolivia, USA and Australia, as well as Switzerland, but of course. There were thin cream-filled gaufres from Lille, fresh chocolate-filled breads delivered early mornings on Mljet island in Croatia, a bright green Swedish Princess Tart and an impressive tower of meringue hiding a lemon tart beneath it. I learned that there is simply nothing more refreshing on a hot sunny day than pistachio granite, and that I prefer my brioche and gelato separate (Sicilians have them together as a sandwich – and for breakfast no less !).
I was fortunate to spend time with boulangers Jean Michel and Thierry at Poilâne bakery in Paris and with chocolatier Ivo Jud at Honold here in Zürich. And especially fortunate to spend a day with the wonderful, generous, talented and down to earth Fabrizia Lanza at her cooking school at Case Vecchie in the heart of Sicily. Luckily my supply of nougat, Bronte pistachios and olive oil will last well into 2013, but I’m tempted to go back for more of Fabrizia’s handmade pasta and a slice (or two) of her Cassata Siciliana, not to mention a stroll around her beautiful residence and bountiful garden.
A new series developed on Instagram this past year: “back from the market with…”, sharing my day’s finds. I’ll continue to go to the market every Tuesday and Friday morning for the freshest, seasonal, local fruits and vegetables, my favorite pretzel breads and flowers too. My latest obsession is definitely persimmon, not the uber soft ones you eat with a spoon, but rather the crisp variety you can eat like an apple and slice like a tomato, exposing a beautiful star-like interior.
2012 also saw Switzerland’s first Salon du Chocolat here in Zürich ! It was a roaring success and I couldn’t be happier and prouder to be involved. We’re already working on the second edition (March 22-24, 2013) and I can assure you that it will be even better than the first – tons of chocolate brands, big and small, from around the country and neighboring countries too, more delicious demos and fascinating conferences. So mark your calendars if you haven’t already and start preparing your sweet tooth for the event !
More 2012 highlights…
* Sweetest surprise in Zürich: the opening of a nougat shop
* Biggest temptation: Bordier butter available at Globus for the holidays (I may have to start a petition for it to be permanent)
* Single chocolate I bought the most of: Lotti’s Best at Honold
* Recipe I made the most: my crunchy granola with dark chocolate and fleur de sel
* Dessert I most often prepared for friends: buffet table with several varieties of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, tubs of Giolito gelato (stracciatella, fior di latte, caffè barista) and assorted toppings
* Favorite restaurant dessert: Rainbow Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae at Kutshers Tribeca in New York City
* Best street food: kiachl in Innsbruck, Austria (unsweetened doughnuts topped with sauerkraut)
* Most unique sweet tasted: mpanatigghi (pastry filled with meat and chocolate) at Antica Dolceria Bonajuto in Modica, Sicily
* Most desired sweet I didn’t get to taste: Dominique Ansel’s Marshmallow Apple for Halloween
And what about you dear readers, any delicious highlights you’d like to share ?
Once again, a very happy, healthy and exciting year ahead to you all, and many sincere thanks for reading and for joining in the sweet discussion !