It’s official. I’ve decided I’m a chocolatarian.
We’re only halfway through our WS week of chocolate but I want to commit before you realize in tomorrow’s article that chocolate is actually healthy for you. I’m not doing it for that reason.
So hear me out before you jump to conclusions thinking my decision is rash or mad. Mad is actually the last word that comes to mind when chocolate is involved. My plan is to take an immediate sabbatical from all other foods and be entirely devoted to chocolate for two reasons: passion and love.
It’s really quite simple. Maribel Lieberman definitely had a hand in my dietary decision. Her Mariebelle chocolate salon in New York is the most artfully designed, creative business that I’ve ever seen. Maribel is passionate about every ganache, every sip of Mayan hot chocolate and every signature chocolate bar. Her product line is passion in full flight. This is especially true when you consider her racy classic chocolate bars. Each cover is from a famous series of pin-up women from the 1940s. The paintings are the work of Peruvian artist, Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez (1896-1982).
At first, I wondered if the graphics sexualized women. Maribel could have chosen any art – impressionist, cubist or other genres.
The pin-up series is certainly edgy but I’d like to think it feels more like an homage to women in history, and a celebration of their bodies and sexual power. Maybe Joaquin’s work was fitting as a South American artist who worked in New York for the Zeigfield Follies.
Overall, it’s hard to say – you be the judge.
What I do know is Maribel is passionate and it extends to her family and the consistent way she infuses the cultural history she’s worked so hard to preserve. Her sister runs the flagship store and the entire supply chain process is controlled by Maribel. Nothing is artificial and no emulsifiers are used. Maribel processes everything and buys from a collaborative of 60 female cacao bean farmers in Honduras.
Then there’s the love, the other reason for my disciplined choice. I’m not falling victim to what I call the ‘Valentine’s Day effect’ even though it is awfully tough to ignore the reams of enticing chocolate – especially that of our featured women chocolatiers. And, we’re not even finished!
I love chocolate because I have seen the passion and the love that comes from those who make it, eat it and enjoy the artful stories that surround it. After all, those artful stories are the very essence of WomanScape. Mary See from See’s Candies and Maribel Lieberman from Mariebelle exemplify the kind of passion that makes life joyful and exciting to share.
The cacao trees that grew Maribel’s backyard as a little girl in Honduras are alive in her New York store. The careful recipe mix and production process demanded by Mary See speaks to the love she had for providing her family and her community with the best quality product.
If more of us lived like chocolatiers, we might realize a more passionate life; one filled with the same kind of joyful attention to artful living and passionate love. We leave you with this “dessert video” to consider the telling story of chocolatier and pastry chef, Amaury Guichon. He is famous the world over with millions of superfans. See you tomorrow for our soulful journey into chocolate.