Let the divine combination of chocolate and great music melt away your stress. Suzanne Litteral (get it?) has been crafting divine chocolates for over a decade. Using local ingredients, this little shop in Fountain Square whips up some fantastic treats. Suzanne is also happy to chat about music of any type. Swing by and pick up a box of truffles. By Nicholas Johnson, Ph.D. Photos by Esther Boston Adapted from Classical Music Indy’s NOTE Magazine.
Smokin’ Blackstrap Truffle | Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring
Bacon in sweets is nothing new. It’s as hip as electric scooters and hashtags, but have you had a chocolate truffle with smoked bacon lard from Smoking Goose? I have, and my life is better for it. This truffle’s robust earthiness blends with a refined sweetness drawn from blackstrap molasses.
While tasting this heavenly combination, I learned that Suzanne is first and foremost a dancer, and then a chocolatier. Aaron Copland’s masterful ballet Appalachian Spring immediately came to mind. It’s approachable and homey, but sophisticated in a sneaky way. This chocolate tastes like the home I wish I had. Appalachian Spring sounds like a place where I belong.
Almond Toffee | Antonín Dvořák, Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81
Toffee is great. Almonds are great. These are facts. Why not take a batch of toffee and coat it in crunchy almonds? Well, maybe because it is a little tough to bite into. So are many of life’s good things. This one is worth the effort.
The toffee is made of just four ingredients, and the almond coating adds a fifth. As a parallel, listen to this Dvořák quintet, written for string quartet plus piano. All four movements of this quintet are gorgeous, but the third movement stands out. It is a furiant—a type of Bohemian folk dance. It’s as playful as this toffee/almond treat, alternating perfectly between bite and tenderness.
Butterscotch Tea Truffle | Benjamin Britten, Hymn to St Cecilia
The aftertaste on this truffle is something special. The initial flavor is fudgy, butterscotchy and chocolaty. Three minutes later, an intense dark tea aftertaste emerges—shades of a British teahouse, pinkies out, crumpets on the way. Had I been sipping coffee with this truffle, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Be sure to let this one linger.
Hymn to St Cecilia is the perfect work to enjoy as the aftertaste slowly dwindles next to warm tonal painting, luxurious harmonies, and a sublime text by W.H. Auden in honor of the patron saint of music. Britten wrote this piece in the chaos of World War II. He actually had to rewrite it after English customs inspectors confiscated the manuscript, fearing it was a military code.
Each stanza ends with a plea for Cecilia to inspire musicians confronted with the horror of a broken world: “Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions / To all musicians, appear and inspire: / Translated Daughter, come down and startle / Composing mortals with immortal fire.”
Where can you get some of this chocolate?
at Litterally Divine Chocolates! (1114 Prospect St Indianapolis, IN 46203)