Krysta Bea Jackson, owner of Sugar Love Chocolates, 50 S. Virginia St., is teaching monthly courses through June 2017. Called Sugar Love University, the lecture and tasting series covers topics ranging from the influence of Latin American flavors in chocolate making to gendered ideas about chocolate. Learn more by visiting: www.sugarlovechocolates.eventbrite.com.
Where did the idea for Sugar Love University come from?
I was looking for a way to do a monthly event where I got to show off the chocolates. I make a monthly flavor as it is, but I wasn’t doing enough to celebrate the fact that I created a new recipe every single month. I didn’t want to do just another chocolate and wine tasting, because pretty much every chocolate store in America does that. So I was talking to Annie Flanzraich, who is helping me with this project. … It was towards the end of our meeting, and I just started getting really nerdy about the chemistry and makeup of chocolate when it’s in the perfect temper. … And she said, “Oh, my god, it’s like you’re schooling me. And so that’s kind of what set it off. … It’s really teachings through tastings.
Tell me a little bit about the different courses?
It was a little bit difficult to come up with 11 all at once. … The first one was the most obvious, which was the history of chocolate. So I made five chocolates that kind of mirrored or were good examples of five major movements in chocolate history. So I told them about each period, and then had them try it. … This upcoming one in September is a seminar in textures. … A lot of them are also topics that I just want to research more about. The one during December, which is during a holiday time for most major religions—I want to research how chocolate was used throughout the different religions. When it came to Europe, the Jewish population is really who perfected chocolate making. … When the Jews got pushed out of Spain—one of the many times—they settled in Southern France and then also into Amsterdam. Well, that’s two of the oldest capitals of chocolate in the world. … Even though I’m doing these presentations, it’s almost like I’m assigning myself research projects.
I was going to ask you to tell me something surprising about chocolate, but you’ve already done that.
Did you know it’s a non-Newtonian fluid? It means that it doesn’t behave exactly like most liquids. … When it freezes—when it’s solid, right?—it’s colder, the ambient temperature is colder. … Chocolate, first of all, never truly becomes solid. It’s still seven to 11 percent liquid, even when we consider it solid. It’s actually smaller when it becomes a solid. All of my chocolates are molded. That’s because when it’s liquid, it fills the mold. It just shrinks a little bit when it becomes solid. So it can pop from the mold. … There’s nothing I need to add to the mold to help them pop out. … And then, of course, it can be solid or liquid at the same temperature. …
I feel silly for not knowing that.
No. And that’s the thing—my undergrad is in French literature, so learning about non-Newtonian fluids is definitely harder for me, I think.