Haste Makes Waste
I shiver every time I hear an ad for Blue Apron. The New York–based company ships ready-to-cook meals all over the country, with recipes and premeasured ingredients packed in tiny plastic pouches and containers, all tightly surrounded by ice packs. Think of the waste! I understand why meal kits exist: People are interested in cooking again, but they need some hand-holding. If you’re going to use one, I recommend a local outfit like Garnish & Gather or PeachDish, which offer the same convenience without quite the carbon footprint. Garnish & Gather lets you ditch some of the packaging by having your meal kit delivered to a cooler left outside your door, or you can pick it up at more than 40 locations around town. Meanwhile, PeachDish sources some of its ingredients from area farms, such as Love Is Love in Decatur. If you live in Atlanta, you can also recycle your delivery materials wherever you see a PeachDish stall at local farmers markets. (Find out more at peachdish.com/recycling.) Still, though I consider myself a fairly lazy cook (you’ll never catch me making my own pasta from scratch), I prefer to stock my pantry the old-fashioned way. I may be lazy, but I hate to be wasteful.
C’est Bon Bon
As a child growing up in Paris, I used to look longingly at confiserie cases filled with glossy bonbons. I’d save my allowance to buy a single bite of crunchy nougatine enveloped in smooth dark ganache. Thanks to a simple stall in Ponce City Market, the feeling is back (and I have a little more money to spend). Saint Germain, a small extension of Christine and Jean-Marc Metairie’s Atmosphère near Ansley Mall, sells impeccable French chocolates made by Karl Vivier, a shy Frenchman born in Orleans and perhaps the city’s least well-known chocolatier.
Vivier has lived in Atlanta for 17 years, but he hasn’t forgotten what a proper truffle looks like (smaller than a Gobstopper, slightly irregular and almost rustic, dusted with the darkest cacao) or how slim an orangette (candied orange peel dipped in chocolate) should be. He also plays with more modern flavors: espelette pepper, green coffee and coriander, Georgia olive oil. Sometimes he even uses extra-rich milk chocolate and infuses it with saffron and honey. All of his candies are exceptionally balanced: not too sweet, not too bitter.
Vivier works in a small commercial space in an industrial area near Woodstock, and he occasionally holds chocolate and wine pairing events. (Check his Facebook page, ACacaoAffair, for listings.) Saint Germain, which carries most of his line, is open until 9 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays), the better to satisfy your after-dinner cravings.
This article originally appeared in our May 2017 issue.