JWU Student Blogs

Food, Family, and Chocolate

This past Wednesday was my twin sister’s and my 21st birthday. Even though I’ve only been away from home for five weeks or so, we’ve been together for just about every birthday so there was no way I was going to miss our most important one. I flew home to Orlando on Friday afternoon.

From the airport we went right to dinner. It was almost the whole family - my sister and I, her boyfriend, and my brother and his girlfriend. My parents were on vacation in St. John that’s been planned for the last year and a half, but I got to see them this morning right before I headed back to Providence!

Dinner was amazing at Orlando’s Cala Bella Italian restaurant. Being the pastry student that I am though, I was most excited about the dessert that our server surprised us with.

Each of us got a dessert sampler platter with several different miniature amenities - mine had a death by chocolate cake (chocolate glaze, dark chocolate mousse, and a crisp chocolate hazelnut crust), an amazing lemon mascarpone cheesecake with a sugar cookie-like crust, and a box of four colorful bonbons. I could definitely appreciate the talent of the pastry team at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort!

Next up on Saturday afternoon was Orlando’s World of Chocolate museum & café. It’s no Food and Wine Festival, but when you can’t pay the $100 to get into Epcot, it’s still an experience! We learned a lot about the history of chocolate, and tasted nine different types at the end of the tour. The chocolate sculptures were amazing - I left wondering when I’d get to learn to make a chocolate Taj Mahal!

The sketches behind these sculptures were done in cocoa - pretty cool!

Our tour guide also talked about the nutritional value of pure cocoa. Now, he made it very clear that the statistics weren’t for chocolate loaded with sugar or milk solids, but just pure, bitter cocoa. Still, with cocoa being about four times healthier than blueberries, I’m thinking I should trade my vitamin C regimen for a cocoa regimen.

It was hard to leave this morning. I don’t always like being so far from home. But I know I’m absolutely in the right place, and I’ll be back home in about eight weeks for Christmas!