Sue Quinn on Cocoa
Food writer and journalist, Sue Quinn had heard all about the fantastic events we've run at Browsers for cookery writers Diana Henry and Sabrina Ghayour, so wanted to launch her new book about 'Cocoa' at the bookshop. She offered samples from the recipes, and a chocolate tasting with one of the makers she champions in the book, local business Pump Street Bakery. What an opportunity!
Those who joined us in the bookshop had a fantastic time as we sipped our glasses of fizz, tucked into chocolate-and-chilli-popcorn and chocolate-orange-and-caraway-shortbread, and listened to Sue talk.
Originally from Australia, she moved to London as a reporter, eventually joining the staff on the Guardian.
As Sue put down roots in Britain, eventually moving to Dorset, she was asked first to edit cookbooks and then to write her own. 'Cocoa' is her 16th cookbook!
The book is full of fascinating information and beautiful, mouth-watering illustrations giving us everything we need to know about chocolate – its history, culture, production, characteristics… with some delicious recipes.
After quizzing Sue more about the production of chocolate, we found our mouths were watering. So it was time for Sally Jones, a member of the Pump Street Bakery team, to introduce us to some of their range of chocolates.
Sally had brought along five different flavours for us to try. We waited patiently, holding the pastille in our fingertips until everyone had been given one, and then we were encouraged to smell, to feel the texture, and then to eat. And to crunch rather than to let the chocolate melt on our tongue...
What flavours did we taste? Fruity? Smokey? It was intriguing to hear the contributions. Sally was able to tell us why these scents and flavours were coming to the fore. She told us the derivation of each chocolate, and she explained the chocolate tasting wheel, copies of which she had brought along for us all to take away.
All too soon the evening had to come to an end. Everyone took away a Pump Street Bakery chocolate mini bar and lots more knowledge! And there were plenty of delicious recipes to try from our copies of 'Cocoa' too.