Friday, August 26, 2011

Eat Local Challenge: day 26

The end of the week and a busy day between errands and work, so it was mainly munching on green beans, various tidbits of leftovers tossed together and a nice jar of juiced fruit and veg. All of which has already been seen here in some form or another during this month, so for today's Local Food highlight, I bring you something from one of my very favorite local spots.

The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is the love child of Dan and Jael Rattigan, and it's more than just another local small business. It (they) embody the true spirit of local, be it with their support of local farmers (and, in full disclosure, artists, like me) or be it with their support of the local economy further by paying their employees a living wage. And there's so much more to them, but if you want to get the full picture and you can't go to the Lounge directly, start by reading their manifesto. And then get yourself to the Lounge as soon as possible.

And to the delight of this dairy-intolerant chocoholic, there are endless selections of dairy-free delights. Their vegan truffle collection (the buddha) is crazy good, featuring locally sourced ingredients when ever possible. And then there's the Theros Chocolate Cake (using the olive oil I love), macaroons, liquid truffle emulsions with coconut milk or maybe their house-made almond milk. And that's just the chocolate - there's so much more, but if I go into too much more detail, I'll have to get in my car and go there, then I would never finish this post.

All that being said, because everything they make is done so with extreme care, talent, creativity, quality ingredients, and most of all love, the foodie in me can't resist the occasional taste of something I wouldn't normally eat because of dairy. As in many things in life, sometimes it's just worth it.

salted honey caramel - dark
The salted honey caramel in dark chocolate with sea salt has a permanent spot on the "worth it" list. They're the perfect size for the occasional decadence, and every single bite, chew and savor of the melting chocolate and caramel mingling with salty goodness is a moment of bliss.  

I've spent time in their kitchen (a/k/a 'the happiest place on earth'), and in another post down the road, I'll take you there to see some of the magic behind the scenes. Until then...
realized too late that this was out of focus, and would have
taken another shot, but the truffle was lost in a
sudden bout of consumption.

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