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Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008, the year that was.

I don't have much to say here except, thank you all so very much. It was a stellar year in the kitchen, and in this economy, I couldn't be happier. Last week this time I was still in a chocolate tempering, dipping,and molding frenzy. I did my very best to get all of your orders out accurately and in a timely fashion. That said, if something didn't arrive as you thought, or if you have any questions about anything, please let me know. My obsessive attention to detail was strained by the sheer number of orders, and I want to make sure that each and every one of you wonderful chocolate eaters are happy.

2008 has been one heck of a year for me, some of it was very good, and some of it was not. I started this year as Løve and ended it as Luca. I may not have made that decision without significant outside "encouragement", but I'm happy with it, and I look forward to many many more years as LUCA Chocolate. This was the year that I began sending out a box of chocolates every month to subscribers, and the year I finally figured out the best way to secure twelve pieces of chocolate in the box!

I couldn't review the year without mentioning the bacon. Oh the bacon. I've probably gone through about 50 pounds of bacon since March, and I have Alex Zalben of the Modern Materialist to thank for it. When I offered to make him some chocolate covered bacon, I really had no idea that so many other people would want it. So thanks, Alex, you really made my Christmas this year. I can't say that I'll be adding any other chocolate covered or infused meat products this year, but if you want some, don't hesitate to ask. Your white chocolate covered pepperoni is but an email request away!

So look for new flavors, more streamlined ordering and lots more retail locations in 2009. I look forward to sharing it with all of you. (and if you want to share this great chocolate company you know, LUCA Chocolate, with a couple of your friends, well, I won't complain one bit!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Mailings

Just a little programming note - tomorrow at 6pm is the last possible second for you to order chocolate and have it arrive in time for Christmas. Feel free to keep ordering, but unless you live in Asheboro, NC - or - choose express mail - or - contact me about faster shipping through one of the commercial carriers, it won't arrive by Dec. 25.

Thank you all so very much for making this a very busy and productive season for LUCA Chocolate.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back in the Saddle

What can I say? I'm a terrible blogger. Hopefully, people who know me think I'm a better person than I am a blogger, because if not, I'm totally failing at life. Suffice it to say, it's been a rollercoaster of an autumn. Things happened, tears were shed, dogs were adopted, ponies were rescued. I've been busy.

But I've also been hard at work in the chocolate kitchen, and things are moving right along, and back on track! Or should I say, bac-on track? (Oh Leslie, please no puns) Chocolate covered bacon continues to be a big hit - I'm hoping the hog farms of NC can keep up with the demand. The very cool guys over at Cool Hunting have added me to their holiday gift guide. Thanks to them, and go check out all their other offerings if you want to be the cool gift giver this year.

It's not all bacon and bourbon truffles here, though. The winter flavors are especially delicious - Peppermint Truffles are back by popular demand. This year, they're joined by Coconut Cardamom Creams - a buttercream blended with toasted coconut and warm cardamom (it's one of those spices that you'll find yourself craving), Blood Orange Creams - tangy blood oranges and candied ginger mingling together in a festive pink buttercream, and Rum Raisin Creams - it's looking like A Very Buttercream Christmas this year, but rum raisin was a big hit in the fall, and I had to keep it running - this bonbon is a toasty marriage of Jamaican rum and golden raisins.

Also new for the long dark nights are Winter Spice Marshmallows. There's just something about a homemade marshmallow, it's addictive. These are especially addictive, because I start with a chocolate spice marshmallow, top it with ginger ganache, and top that with a toasted sweet and salty pecan. The whole business is dropped head-first into milk or dark chocolate. There really isn't any stopping with one, so be forewarned.

My last tidbit of news concerns the Weaver Street Market. If you're a shopper in the area, you may have noticed a decided lack of LUCA lately. We're re-vamping for a new line. Tentatively called LUCA signature, it will be all the best of the basics, in a windowed box, priced for snacking. Look for it on the shelves in the next week.

So that's all the news I've got to share right now. I promise not to be so delinquent in my posting of news and information in the future. Now go buy chocolate!