Food &/Or Beverage News

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION . . . As if pushing chocolate weren't enough, Dilettante Chocolates founder and chief chocolatier Dana Davenport is dealing a new drug: coffee. His local chocolate company started roasting its own beans this year and brewing them to order at the Dilettante Café and Patisserie on Broadway in Capitol Hill. Now Davenport has expanded his dirty business down the hill and into downtown. From the new Dilettante Mocha Café (1400 Sixth Ave., 206-748-7880), he'll sling coffee beverages and chocolate desserts, too. What's worse, he plans to marry the two in what he calls the beverage of the 21st century: the mocha. He takes this particular vice very seriously, so he's brewing his own coffee and making the chocolate he puts into itkeeping total control over the final product. Heaven help us. A GUMBALL IN EVERY MOUTH Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and NordstromWestern Washington is home to many corporate heavyweights, but none seems quite as accomplished these days as Tal Moore's online megastore, Gumballs.com. Much like Hank on King of the Hill, Moorethe four-year-old company's president and founderdeals in gumballs and gumball accessories, including dispensers shaped like gas pumps, pet treat machines, and gumball-selling devices up to 7 feet tall. Gumballs.com sold its 5 millionth gumball on Dec. 2, and Moore is justifiably stoked. "That quantity [of gumballs] could fill 260 Volkswagen Beetles," he declared recently. "If you laid each gumball end to end, the trail of gumballs would stretch 79 milesthat's a lot of gumballs." While Pez.com and other industry powerhouses have yet to weigh in on this epic achievement, the 260 Seattleites who volunteered their VWs for the gumball volume test would kindly like them back now, thanks. BETTER LATE . . . After decades of active hostility or indifference to organic farming, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has finally climbed onto the bandwagon that generations of determined consumers got rolling. At their annual meeting in September, leaders of state departments of agriculture "adopted a policy statement expressing broad support for organic farming". But a close look at NASDA's "strategic policy initiative" shows that the group, long in the thrall of the forces of industrialized farming (which provides a lot of the funding for state ag programs and research), hasn't change its spots overnight: Now that organic farming is big business, NASDA approves it not health or moral grounds, but because it meets the organization's main goal: "to enhance U.S. agricultural competitiveness and ensure the survivability and enhance the profitability of American producers." In brief: If it makes money, it's got their vote. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at food@seattleweekly.com.

 
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