Valentine's Day Article

Two loving cups for Valentine's Day

This may not be the year you celebrate Valentine's Day in an elegant restaurant. Or maybe you're skipping your intimate lobster dinner at home to trim your budget.
Thank goodness chocolate, the ambrosial route to romance, is still affordable.
Unlike some ingredients that are expensive, chocolate has a luxurious allure while being within reach, according to Beth Kimmerle, a candy and chocolate historian in New York City
"You can get exotic flavors in a [chocolate] bar, and you don't have to spend a lot of money, says Miss Kimmerle.
In fact, if you can't promise your sweetheart the world for Valentine's Day, you can do the next best thing and provide a taste of chocolates from different cocoa-growing regions.
"You can have a fun night tasting bars from all over the world," says Miss Kimmerle, author of "Chocolate: The Sweet History" (Collectors Press). You can also take your chocolate explorations further.
Miss Kimmerle suggests preparing an unusual dessert of chocolate pudding with a fried bacon strip as an accompaniment. Dip the bacon in the chocolate for a taste that's simultaneously salty and sweet.
For another easy and fun dessert, melt semisweet chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and drizzle it over sliced bananas alternating with salted pecan halves and crumbled macaroons in a tall glass.
Don't overlook hot chocolate as a source for seduction. "The aroma of a chocolate drink wafting through the air is very sexy and romantic," Miss Kimmerle says.


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