When I was a kid growing up in the Midwest, Russell Stover was the “swanky” candy. I remember my dad buying big, red, heart-shaped, boxes of it for my mom every Valentine’s Day. We kids would each get a little box of something – maybe the less prestigious Whitman’s Sampler.
Well, chocolate (and I!) have come a long way since then. Give me a wicked-dark bar from Poco Dolce or Dandelion, and I’ll see hearts. No need for a froofy box.
And yet, I was delighted when a pal visiting from St. Louis brought a heart full of old-school chocolates from Crown Candy Kitchen – my hometown’s oldest soda fountain (celebrating its 100th birthday this year). Look, nonpareils with colored sprinkles!
Sometimes memories taste good, too.
Lowell Thomas Award-winner Gayle Keck has sipped fermented mare’s milk in Kyrgyzstan, dug for truffles in Italy, crafted wine at Napa Valley’s “Crush Camp” and munched her way through every continent except Antarctica, which seems far too focused on frozen food.
She has written for Gourmet, National Geographic Traveler, Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants 2010, and is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post and other major newspapers.
Gayle has visited 49 US states (sorry, North Dakota) and more than 40 countries – though her favorite trip was a flight from Chicago to San Francisco, when she met her future husband on the airplane. She also blogs at Been There Ate That