LGBTQIA, Small Business

#HeyMuncie!: Queer Chocolatier Goes to Market!


Queer Chocolatier centers on the the tangible product of quality chocolate truffles but it also rests on the foundation of an identity that claims space. In some ways, this is nerve-wracking. But it also is refreshing and rewarding!

I am a queer, married ciswoman and I'm going to make you delicious chocolates.

And I am equally proud of my cocoa alchemy as I am of my queer identity.

However, I am acutely aware that not everyone will share my pride. We live and move in an increasingly balkanized society that pushes people to choose sides. By and large I support choosing sides. Furthermore, I believe in the idea of claiming your space first; if I am anchored and grounded in where I stand, others can use me as a landmark and decide whether to stand alongside me or not.

This past weekend of vending at two local farmers' markets was my first time staking my claim in a physical space, outside of the internet, and putting myself out there as the Queer Chocolatier.

And Muncie warmly welcomed me! 

The indomitable Moth Danner runs the Muncie Makers Market and was beyond welcoming me to her roster of vendors!

The indomitable Moth Danner runs the Muncie Makers Market and was beyond welcoming me to her roster of vendors!

It was just one weekend, but I have the sense that Queer Chocolatier taking space meant something to folx. In some cases, people simply wanted good chocolate and I'm not mad! I love talking to people about my chocolate, how I make it, where I buy my source chocolate, how I've come up with some flavors (including flavors inspired by my wife).

This is the price she pays for being my inspiration.

This is the price she pays for being my inspiration.

In other cases, folx came to my booth to talk about identity and business and community. Some came under my canopy to say "Thank you!" or "This is such a cool concept!" 

That matters. 

It matters because queer lives matter. Trans* lives matter. Solidarity matters.

Know that if you are queer, trans*, gender non-conforming, genderqueer or genderfluid, of if you fall anywhere in the spectrum of marginalized sexual and/or gender identity, I stand in solidarity with you. If you're in East Central Indiana, come visit me at Minnetrista's Farmers' Market or at the Muncie Makers' Market and indulge in truffles!

And be unapologetic about taking up the space that you do! 

cocoa wonkery

Cocoa 101: What are Truffles? Q&A

Cocoa 101: What are Truffles? Q&A

Expanded from Vol. 1, Issue 1 of the Cocoa Communique: The Queer Chocolatier Newsletter.

Question: What are "Truffles"?

Answer: Truffles are chocolate confections that, at their most basic, are made with chocolate, cream and butter, and are finished by either rolling in cocoa powder or dipping in tempered chocolate. Using these ingredients as a canvas, rainbows of flavors are also incorporated to make each truffle a unique experience.

Question: Okay, sounds great, but why "truffles"?

Answer: Folx back in the day thought these confections looked a great deal similar to the highly-prized black truffle mushrooms due to the dusting of cocoa powder that resembled dirt. The name has stuck ever since.

I personally think they look nothing like mushrooms. Mostly because I love chocolate and hate, hate, HATE mushrooms.

I'm sure it's mutual.

Question: Wait, so truffles look like mushrooms, but do they have mushrooms in them?

Answer: **shudder** I sincerely hope not. But we live in the Age of The Internet and there are dark corners of the world that would make such things manifest.

Truly though, the name really just reflects on the general appearance and their highly-desirable nature.

He's not wrong.

He's not wrong.

Question: Are truffles supposed to be perfectly round? Do perfectly round truffles mean that they are better quality?

Answer: Not necessarily. Going from the original inspiration from the name, there are few perfectly round black truffle mushrooms that naturally grow, so it stands to reason that a slightly asymmetrical appearance is completely acceptable, and sometimes is even more desired than a perfect sphere as to demonstrate the handmade aesthetic.

Quality, in and of itself, is not going to be determined by a sole factor of shape symmetry. Instead, quality will be a confluence of many factors such as: sourced chocolate, freshness of dairy (or non-dairy) items, and ratio of flavoring elements among others including shape.

Question: Good, so is there any real difference between the cocoa dusted truffles and the dipped-in-chocolate truffles?

Answer: The only difference here is the style of the chocolatier and your own personal preference. Ultimately, the confection is still the same: a chocolate ganache that may or may not be flavored beyond simply the base chocolate.

My personal preference is the cocoa-rolled truffles but this might only be because they were the first ones I started with and are the ones I'm most familiar with. Trust me when I say I'll never kick a good chocolate truffle out of bed if it is dipped in tempered chocolate rather than dusted with cocoa. Have you seen my "volumptuous" figure?

My wife called me "volumptuous" instead of "voluptuous." Jury's still out.

I hope this quick Cocoa 101 was illuminating on how horrible I am at hula hooping and I will pay in truffles if someone can teach me how to do a better job of it.