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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Recchiuti and Handal Prove Chocolate and Cheese Aren't Strange Bedfellows

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM

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Amarena cherries and Blu del Moncenisio cheese await enrobing for the Red, White & Blu course.
​A recent afternoon at the headquarters of confectioner Recchiuti provided definitive proof that, in the right hands, chocolate and cheese do go together. As part of his mostly sold-out Taste Project series (hopefully more sessions will be added), Michael Recchiuti and former employee Doralice Handal (now owner of the Cheese Shop in Healdsburg) combined their respective expertise with considerable imagination to create a unique six-course pairing of chocolate and cheese.

The genesis of each idea was explained, and a piece of the cheese accompanied each course so that tasters could understand the progression. In some cases, as in the so-called BLT. . . Recchiuti Style, the raw cheese accompaniment was almost essential to locate that note within the dish since the combinations were often subtly flavored. From ice cream to lollipops, cheese and chocolate have never been in such harmony. Peruse more pictures after the jump.

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Ice Cream "Push Pop": Ice cream made with burnt chestnut honey and Stella raw goat's milk cheese.

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American Pie: Pathivier with caramelized apples, Amano Jembrana 70% chocolate, and Three Sisters' Serena raw cow's milk cheese.

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Savory Souffle with Sea Bean Salad: Robiola Bucaneve cow/goat/sheep milk cheese with Far West Fungi sea beans.

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BLT. . . Recchiuti Style: Brioche, Applewood-smoked bacon, Valrhona 64% chocolate, and Barely Buzzed cheddar with espresso powder and lavender buds.

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Burrata On-A-Stick: Fresh cow's milk burrata dipped in chocolate, coated in caramelized pecans, and served with a pipette of Stonehouse olive oil.

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