The new chocolate maker in town wants Park Slope’s picky foodies to know that “kosher” and “gourmet” needn’t be as incompatible as oil and water.
“Quality can be kosher, too,” said Tziporah Avigayil Jaeger, 26, proprietor of Chocolate Girl, a chocolate shop that will open on Seventh Avenue on Wednesday.
“It’s gourmet chocolate, and it just happens to be kosher,” said Jaeger, who lives in Midwood. “I only use top-quality ingredients.”
Pure chocolate is essentially parve, or non-dairy, Jaeger pointed out. It’s the additives, like milk and flour, which can render some chocolate un-kosher.
To avoid unholy ingredients, Jaeger imports her chocolate from a kosher company in Belgium. She tempers and reworks the sweet confection here in Brooklyn, where she has separate kitchens for dairy and non-dairy, and she has the treats certified again by Rabbi Avner Katz.
Jaeger’s confident that discerning Park Slope foodies will agree that the kosher certification is no more than “an added bonus.” As long as the chocolate’s up to snuff, she’s probably right.
“If you can make gourmet chocolate, you can make gourmet kosher chocolate,” said Park Slope chocolate eater Emily Falk.
Justin Jarboe, a Fort Greene fellow-traveler, agreed, even going so far as to claim that kosher food tends to be of “higher quality” than regular food.
One thing’s for sure. Park Slope is nothing if not exacting when it comes to food, home as it is to culinary marvels like Al Di La and Applewood, not to mention two existing chocolate shops — Cocoa Bar, on Seventh Avenue between Third and Fourth streets, and the Chocolate Room, on Fifth Avenue, between St. Marks Avenue and Warren Street.
Plus, every store in the neighborhood — from the Food Co-op to the corner bodega — has a shelf with gourmet, 70-percent cocoa, organic, fair trade, single estate bars.
Jaeger, 26, has a long-standing relationship with the dark god of decadence. She started experimenting with chocolate as a child, but didn’t start making her own until she was running a candy shop called Sweetarts and couldn’t find products like chocolate-covered apples.
“So I started making chocolate in my living room,” said Jaeger, who, for the record, favors dark chocolate to milk, and says white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all (though that won’t stop her from selling it).
One of its signatures will be a hot chocolate with a pink dollop of whipped cream on top.
Neighbors are cautiously optimistic — and at least one has ulterior motives.
“I’m sort of excited to try the chocolate,” said Josh Bevans, a salesman at the wine shop Big Nose, Full Body, across the street.
Bevans recommended that chocolate eaters pair their treats with the cabernet or with port.
Chocolate Girl is on Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th streets. Visit www.thechocolategirl... for more information.
©2007 Community News Group
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