Archive for February, 2013

Chef’s Halavas

Posted in
Chef's Halavas

Make your own rich and nutty decadence. The swirls of melt-in-your-mouth sesame, crunch of hazelnut and smoothness of fine dark chocolate transport you to a flavor sensation of the culinary kismet of Europe, the Far East and beyond. For YUMMY! perfection, pair with your favorite floral or fruity mousse, ice cream or gelato.

Dea + Carlos = <3

Posted in Downtown Market, MKT BAR, News

It’s a well-known fact that Phoodies pursue their passion at Phoenicia, but for one charming couple, the passion has grown beyond pita, pastries and pinot. What began as a chance meeting on a simple night out with friends, later transformed this pair into starry-eyed passengers who had unknowingly sailed aboard the Phoenicia love boat!

A friend of Dea Chincuanco and Carlos Go Boncan introduced them at MKT BAR during Valentine’s Week 2012. A short time later, the two become Facebook friends and chatted regularly. They eventually started dating and ultimately kindled a blossoming romance.

With the holidays approaching and a big celebration planned with Dea’s family, Carlos was extremely busy at work and confessed to Dea he had been unable to get her a Christmas present. Dea understood and the Christmas Eve celebration proceeded as planned. After everyone had opened their gifts, Carlos escorted Dea outside to a magical backyard setting, orchestrated with the assistance of her family. Carlos got down on one knee, presented a ring and proposed to an unsuspecting Dea. He professed that she had made him the world’s happiest man and in return, he wanted to make her the happiest woman. Completely surprised and delighted, Dea accepted. On behalf of the entire YUMMY! Crew, we congratulate the happy couple on their upcoming spring wedding and wish them a lifetime of delicious happiness!

The Legend of Gianduia

Posted in Downtown Market, News, Westheimer Market

By Madame Cocoa

Lovers in Italy and around the world exchange chocolate-covered hazelnut Baci Perugina “kisses” for Valentine’s Day. The chocolate-hazelnut combination is rooted in the history of chocolate production in Italy, and is full of tall tales and intriguing characters. No character is bigger in that story than Gianduia (pronounced zhan-DO-yuh). We know it as the irresistible, creamy smooth, spreadable combination of chocolate and hazelnuts (think Nutella). But in the mid-1800s, Italians knew Gianduia as a marionette of the Commedia dell’Arte theater.

Signifying good humor, honesty, and the pleasures of food and drink, Gianduia the puppet was a source of huge civic pride as a peasant of the Piedmont region, specifically the town of Turin in Northern Italy. In February 1865, at a time of much political upheaval, local citizens banded together and made their favorite character, Gianduia, the King of Carnival. In the excess and indulgence of these pre-Lent celebrations, the first chocolate and hazelnut confection — the gianduiotti, appeared.

Named after the patron of Turin’s Carnival, gianduiotti (zhee-an-DWO-tee) are plump, finger-sized soft confections of chocolate, hazelnut paste, and sugar, wrapped individually. Gianduia (the chocolate-hazelnut spread) and gianduiotti (the individual candies) were revolutionary for their smooth texture, given that chocolate manufactured at the time produced a gritty product. In fact, the chocolate bar as we know it had not yet been invented, and there was no such thing as a milk chocolate bar.

Today, choices of chocolate-hazelnut combinations abound, whether it is traditional Pernigotti Gianduiotti, in Italian sweet bread Balocco Panettone, or in the love-note-filled “kisses,” the Baci Perugina. The well-known modern version of gianduia, Nutella, came about more than 75 years after its invention as a luxury sweet on the streets of Turin. But unlike the original, the one we love today comes in milk chocolate.

Find all of these delectable chocolate-hazelnut combinations freshly stocked at Phoenicia. And for a legendary combo you’ll really love, pair these treats with a bottle of wine from Phoenicia’s extensive selection.