Like it or not, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you’re one who gleefully looks forward to hearts and roses or scorns Cupid’s little bows and arrows, you have to admit that February 14th is a good enough day as any to eat some truly fantastic chocolate.
We here at PastryScoop.com thought it would be fun to check in on some of our favorite chocolatiers to hear what they’ve been up to and how they’re coping with the holiday crush. Here’s a sample of some of their responses. —Judiaann Woo
ELLEN MIRSKY, EM CHOCOLATIER, NEW YORK CITY
Judiaann: “You’re a newbie to the biz. How’s your first Valentine’s Day going?”
Ellen: “Well, I’ve gotten a ton of orders! It’s a lot of work because I’m still the pastry chef at Public so I just have to work even harder. I don’t mind working hard when it’s for me. For the holiday, I’m doing passion fruit, port, and raspberry-black pepper for a little spice.”
MICHAEL RECCHIUTI, RECCHIUTI CONFECTIONS, SAN FRANCISCO
Judiaann: “Do you see any gender preferences when it comes to chocolate?”
Michael: “Women tend to like all the eclectic flavors: ginger, lavender, tea infused. The men come in and ask for the darkest chocolate. They always say, ‘Gimme the strongest you got.’”
AUTUMN MARTIN, THEO, SEATTLE
Judiaann: “I see you’re using damiana in your Aphrodisiac Collection. Some claim the citrusy herb increases sensitivity to the love parts and induces erotic dreams. Any comment?”
Autumn: “I haven’t noticed any effects personally, but people seem to love it. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, but the flavor and texture is certainly sensual enough. Right now we’re working seven days a week, 12 hours a day to keep up with demand.”
JACQUES TORRES, JAQUES TORRES CHOCOLATE, NEW YORK CITY
Judiaann: “Do the French celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Jacques: “Of course, the French invented Valentine’s Day! In fact, we celebrate every day. A little amor and a little chocolate every day is our way of life.”
Judiaann: “Why do you think women love chocolate so much?”
Jacques: “According to a customer that came in the other day, the difference between a man and a piece of chocolate is simple. Chocolate gives you pleasure every single time.”