Shortly after discovering Valrhona chocolate in the early nineties and failing to find where I could buy it in Pittsburgh, I dreamed up a brilliant business idea: Chocolates of the World. My idea was to open up shop in a trendy area and introduce fine chocolates to Pittsburghers young and old (no small feat in a town where people actually like Iron City beer). I would carve my living with corporate sales, franchise my concept as Starbucks did, and then retire on the Riviera, in a farm house with a large ‘kitchen garden’, complete with olive and citron trees, rosemary, thyme and lavender….
While the idea simmered in the back of my mind, Amy Rosenfeld opened just the kind of shop Pittsburgh needed: Mon Aimee Chocolat, in the Strip District. I like to stop in there when I visit, picking up gifts of lavender chocolate or simply indulging in unexplored tastes. On Saturday afternoon, I ducked in to escape the oppressive heat and humidity while waiting for Francis to arrive for our lunch date. What I found stopped me dead in my tracks:
Can you see what I saw? Look down there in the bottom right. See a logo that looks familiar? Guido Gobino chocolates! Right there in my hometown!!! As my jaw dropped, a friendly woman came to ask if needed help. Barely able to speak, I stood mesmerized as she described her recent trip to Torino, where she not only toured Guido Gobino with the owners, but also attended the Salone del Gusto, perhaps the world’s most comprehensive food and wine event sponsored by Slow Food.
Proud that my hometown had caught up with my travels, I cashed out with a $30 sack of Turinot, Guido Gobino’s mini- gianduiotti made with IGP Piemontese hazelnuts and varietal chocolates. Maybe one day they’ll import the dark chocolate ones …. A gal can always dream.