This week’s customer spotlight is on long-time customer, Earnie Glazener. When Earnie and his wife, Melanie, aren’t tasting chocolate, they’re experimenting in the kitchen with any number of foods. One of their latest tests has been jams of all kinds. They’ve provided me with multiple batches of their jam experiments, complete with labels and a website for providing feedback. I’ve been through two batches of their Peach Cardamom Bourbon jam, which I’ve taken to eating out of the jar with a spoon. Their repertoire includes a tomato jam, and an apple pear jam that I thought would be my least favorite, but turned out to be one of my favorites.
Earnie is the ultimate food geek. He approaches hot sauce the same way he approaches jam, purchasing exotic peppers at the end of the summer and bottling them in the tiniest sample bottles I’ve ever seen. In addition to jams and hot sauces, Earnie enjoys sous vide cooking and baking tarts, cakes and other desserts. Also among his repertoire are fermented foods and brittles made with exotic flavors. When I received an Anova sous vide appliance as a gift from my husband, Earnie was ready with a list of websites, recipes and sous vide suggestions. If there’s a food you like, chances are Earnie has some tips to share from his experiments. No surprise, he’s currently making chocolate from the bean in very small batches. A hobby at this point, but who knows where it will lead.
Here’s a little bit more about Earnie in his own words, including his chocolate picks for Saturday’s happy hour.
What’s your favorite bar of chocolate right now?
The Smooth Chocolator 75% Cacao Wild Bolivia Beniano. But this changes like the wind. A better answer would be “the one I am eating now.”
Do you have a favorite bar of all time?
This is something like a 10-way tie. But because I must pick one, then it’s Cacao Sampaka La Joya.
How did you discover Chocolopolis?
I was looking for a local store so I could order less chocolate online (and risk shipping issues). Somehow, I found Chocolopolis in some crazy Google search.
What do you do when you’re not tasting chocolate?
Cook, read, take photos, work, and spend time with my family.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I spent the first nine years of my life a short distance from Hershey’s. I even remember getting to tour the actual inside of the plant as a small kid. Hershey developed his chocolate by trial and error at the turn of the 20th century. Today’s craft makers have largely developed their recipes by the same trial and error method. But tastes have certainly changed over the past 118 years.
What bars have you chosen for your happy hour?
(Editor’s note: Earnie has a lot of favorites, so we’ve chosen a handful from among his many choices.)