Day Six • 12 Sips of Brooklyn
WHAT SHALL WE DRINK AT THE ENDING OF THE WORLD? What better way to honor the end of the Mayan’s Long Calendar (and the destruction of all we know and love) than by serving their favorite beverage: chocolate, preferably hot.
What with Niburu (or is it Planet X?) ready to carom off us in a celestial game of billiards, the impending total blackout, solar flares, devastating meteors and the reversal in the rotation of the Earth, things promise to get pretty busy around here soon. Even NASA is attempting to debunk the rumors, which should only encourage the anxiety: “Man, the government obviously knows all about this and they’re just covering it up to keep the citizens docile.”
So, to stock up for our ultimate Go-bag (in the event that we have to head for our mountain redoubt to rebuild the human race), we went over to The Chocolate Room in the Slope for some hot chocolate. The real star there is the Spiced Dark Hot Chocolate, only available during the cold season or until the collapse of civilization, whichever ends first.
Made with a blend of Belgian chocolate (60% and 72% cocoa), Valhrona (French) cocoa, sugar, cloves and cinnamon, the drink gets its spiciness from Ancho and Chipotle chilis, an authentic addition the Mayans would appreciate. Floating in the middle of the cup was a delicious chunk of artisanal marshmallow.
Spiced Dark Hot Chocolate bears as little relation to supermarket/diner/skating rink hot chocolate as a delay on the F train bears to a collision with a brown dwarf planet. It is rich and loaded with flavonoids and other antioxidants as well as mild stimulants. The science is still out, but there is evidence that chocolate may improve your mood and heart health (when taken in moderation). The chilis also are reputed to have medicinal effects. Of course, the scientists are all busy pooh-poohing the end of the planet, so you can take their advice with a grain of salt.
The Chocolate Room sells its Spiced Dark mix to go in a meteorite-resistant one quart tin for $20 (also available from the website). If you want some marshmallows with that, stay away from those awful pellets sold in the supermarket, and go for Whimsy & Spice’s confections instead. The Brooklyn makers produce marshmallows in cardamom, maple, passionfruit and other flavors. (Available online and from local stores for $6.50 a dozen.)
Jacques Torres Chocolate is a true Mecca for chocolate, in solid or liquid state. The classic hot chocolate is rich and creamy, and they also have a Wicked version with Ancho and Chipotle chilis. They’ve thrown down the gauntlet by stating that they never use cocoa powder in their blends, and the packaged version is $18 for 16 oz.
I’ll leave it to the chocolate makers to battle over the nuances of cocoa powder vs. no cocoa powder, I’m heading down to my Niburu-proof bunker for some hot chocolate.
The Chocolate Room
86 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope
269 Court Street, Cobble Hill
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water Street, DUMBO
Whimsy & Spice
Photographs by Basia Hellwig. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Goudy Oldstyle, by Frederick W. Goudy, Linotype, 1915.