What’s the latest buzz on chocolate? In this blog, we’ll explore the endless world of premium and artisan chocolates. We’ll share tasting notes, interview chocolate makers, investigate the health benefits of chocolate, and look at the origin and history of this wonderful and complex treat. Leave a comment and tell me what you’d like to learn about!
Koko Buzz is a play on the Japanese word for “here.” As in you will find all the buzz about chocolate here. Then there is the obvious connotation of “buzz” for that warm feeling you get when you eat good chocolate.
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About the writer – I’m a chocolate enthusiast and a certified fitness nutritionist with a keen interest in writing about food and nutrition. In this blog I focus mostly on chocolate. I aim to educate both experienced chocolate enthusiasts and neophytes though this blog and seminars that I teach in the Boston area. I have received basic instruction in chocolate from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. My original degrees (many years ago) are in chemical engineering which serves to fuel my interest and insight into the chemistry and processes surrounding chocolate making.
It was when I started traveling to Europe in the early 90’s that I developed a deeper interest in artfully prepared fine foods. I’m not talking about complicated or pretentious foods, per se, just good fresh creations made by people who care about quality and detail. These culinary experiences were undoubtedly heightened by my surroundings like the small cobblestone courtyards of Aix-en-Provence or bustling student-filled squares of Leuven, Belgium. During this time, I developed a budding interest in learning about chocolate that has grown ever since.
As my corporate career plodded along, I found myself flying more often to Asia and Japan than Europe (eventually living in Tokyo with my family for part of 2007 and 2008). Dutifully adhering to the traditions of these regions, I brought small gifts for my business associates on every trip to show appreciation for their help and hospitality. But, after a while it became hard to find uniquely western gifts. It got pretty tiring to lug picture books of purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain around the airports of the world. The old standbys of Scotch whisky or other alcohol don’t fly too well anymore post 9-11. Just about everything else is made in China. So that brought me back to one of the greatest inventions of the New World: chocolate. Certainly you can get just about anything you want in Tokyo and more, but I was able to introduce a variety of chocolates to my Japanese and east-Asian colleagues that they had not experienced before. It was great to see their reaction from intense interest to confusion, but it was always a great pleasure to share something genuine from the New World. This, in part, brought me to the realization that chocolate is a passion for me. Now I’d like to share that passion with you.