My stomach had been hurting since I walked in to work this morning. I can say with some confidence it had little to do with the red pepper speckled Szechwan-style pig’s ear, the Pakistani fudge or the myriad taste tests at the Spice House in Old Town this week – all part of the January experiment to try one new food item each day.
I had heard once that chocolate was a digestive. I still question whether that’s true. But that didn’t stop me from my quest to cure my bellyache. So I headed over to the Merchandise Mart (next door to the Apparel Mart where the paper is housed) to a tucked-away treasure, The Artisan Cellar. The wine selection, panini and Mexican Spice Hot Chocolate are unbelievable, but today I found a treat that not only took my mind off that tummy issue, but was a little something to share with my wonderful work mates: Truffled Spanish Almonds, my friends. Scott Donaldson, who works at the The Cellar, tells me these imported wonders are known as Spanish piedras or rocks. The toasted larguetas – top tier almonds known for their uniform shape – are dipped in a chocolate ganache and dusted with a chocolate powder. At $19.95 a pound, they’re not cheap. But a Dixie cup full will run you about $2.