November 2017 - Page 2 of 7 - Please The Palate
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Anything you think about chocolate will be changed after trying Peluso Chocolate from Sicily. This special chocolate is not just about eating chocolate, it is about eating a story. And Peluso Chocolate is the Please The Palate pick of the week. Peluso chocolate is called chocolate "made in the cold." This recipe was created in 1746 in the southern city of Modica in Sicily and has been made the same way ever since. The cocoa seeds are ground and mixed with sugar. Those are the only two ingredients! There is no butter or oil or milk added. The processing is done at a low temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. By processing it at a low temperature, the healing properties of the cocoa are maintained (they are typically lost when the temperatures reach more than 104 degrees). The healing properties of cocoa are tannins, which have antioxidants and blood pressure regulators. That means that this chocolate has benefits for cardiovascular health, antibacterial protection and safeguards against viral diseases. Flavanoids (which offer protection against tumors) ensure better liver function and help strengthen immune defenses to fight free radicals.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
The world of wine is vast. It is more than California, France and Italy. It is more than chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. There are more than a thousand wine-producing regions and thousands of different grape varieties in the world.
When we see a wine from a lesser-known wine-producing country or made from a grape we are not familiar with or made in a style that is not what we consider classic, we may call these wines “weird” or “archaic” or “artisanal” or “natural.” But it is important to have a broader perspective and look at the larger world of wine.
I have had the privilege to be introduced to a vast number of wine regions and wines, and, thanks to my work, I have tried wines from Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Georgia, as well as all wines from the more well-known wine countries.
With only one night in Chicago, and a rainy one at that, I hopped into a taxi to the neighborhood of Logan Square to enjoy dinner and drinks at Chiya Chai, recently named Best Indian Restaurant in Chicago by Chicago Reader. A fan of Indian food, I was looking forward to a comfort meal and got so much more. Chiya Chai is owned by brothers Swadesh and Saujanya Shrestha who grew up in the midst of the world of tea in Kathmandu, Nepal. Their family are Nepalese tea farmers and their father was one of the first exporters of Nepalese tea to the United States. Swadesh Shrestha recalled growing up in the foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas and loved going to his grandfather's tea shop where he would sit quietly sipping a cup of milky chai as he watched the comings and goings of the village. The brothers, along with Swadesh's wife Rajee, who is also from Kathmandu, opened a restaurant in Minneapolis and ten years later, in August of 2016, opened Chiya Chai in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.  
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