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David Lissner
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Chocolate Takes the Menu Spotlight

tesori and sola are both focusing on chocolate for themed prix fixe menus taking place right now.

Restaurants: Sola, tesori
Red velvet cake at sola

Red velvet cake at sola

Still reeling from chocolate overload this past weekend? Too bad. There are chocolate-themed prix fixe menus to be had! Just when you thought you’d OD’d on heart-shaped confections, tesori and sola come along to re-invigorate our adoration and obsession with chocolate in all its versatile glory. Far beyond dessert, both restaurants are showcasing chocolate in a variety of savory and sweet preparations. Put on your Augustus Gloop pants and get eating.


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Chocolate Listeni/ˈɒk(ə)lət/ is a processed, typically sweetened food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Although cacao has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mexico and Central America, its earliest documented use is by the Olmecs of south central Mexico around 1100 BC. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Mayans and Aztecs,[1] who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl [ʃoˈkolaːt͡ɬ], a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intensely bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, roasted, and finally the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobrominephenethylamine and caffeine.[2] These have physiological effects on the body and are linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Some research has found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure.[3] The presence of theobromine renders chocolate toxic to some animals,[4] especially dogs and cats.