Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chocolate and beer...

Don't scoff. According to a lot of my foodie news sites, that is the new "it" combination. Think about it. The same countries - Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Holland - known for their beer production also produce some pretty good chocolates. Really, though, how can you go wrong?

Yahoo! News reported on the new analysis of a range of beers. The study concluded beer is a good source of dietary silicon, which is good for bone density. The researchers tested 100 commercially available brews and came up with the recommendation to drink in moderation to improve bone density. Apparently "hoppier' beers are better for your bones, as they contain more silicon. So maybe kick back with an IPA the next time you turn on ESPN?

CNN.com posted a video interview with Tom Aspirino, a New England-area mortgage-banker-turned-candy-peddler. Sick of the mortgage field, he went into business producing Rhode Island Rocks - chocolate-covered pretzel clusters. This is an excellent example of a small business succeeding in a recession. Aspirino seems to be following a passion, so good for him.

Time Magazine has an article on the new revolution in Peru - chocolate. Previously known as a major producer of cocaine paste, Peruvians increasingly have been turning to producing cocoa beans. Peruvian chocolatiers even earned a prestigious aroma certificate from the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Peru is the second-largest coca producer after Columbia, but the Andean nation increased cacao exports over 400 percent in the past decade. This year the output will be around 35,000 metric tons, which would make Peru among the top ten cacao producers in the world.

(Photo courtesy of Time)

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