By Kim Lyle
In a world before Godiva and Ghirardelli, cacao beans were once so valuable that the Mayans used them as a form of currency. Ten beans would buy you a rabbit and 100 might get you some livestock. Today, pay with chocolate and all you’ll get are strange looks at best. However, there is one day in February when the worth of this once-worshiped bean is raised exponentially – Valentine’s Day.
If it is chocolate you are searching for to express your love, look no further than Strands Café downtown. Their quiet, friendly atmosphere is home to the most finely crafted chocolates in Baton Rouge. Flavors are artfully invented from scratch by their in-house chocolatier, a chef specializing in making chocolate. The unique personality present in each delectable treat is evident in everything from the thoughtful presentation to the high quality ingredients used. Caramel, cinnamon, and coconut have all been known to make appearances in the final products.
A favorite chocolate is the Tierra Caliente, generously infused with spicy cayenne pepper and sweet cinnamon. The consistency is almost fudge-like, making it one to be savored in several bites. A little smaller than a golf ball, it packs a flavorful punch that will leave your curious for more.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Strands Café will be filling up their display case with a wide variety of creative concoctions, offering a refreshing alternative to generic heart shaped boxes wrapped in thick red plastic. Their emphasis is on quality over quantity, so half a dozen of these treats would be the perfect gift for a loved one. This holiday support a locally owned, family run business over a large, commercial corporation. The Strands Café family and your taste buds will thank you.