Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Zingerman’s Chocolate Cherry Bread

I’m not a joiner. When everyone raves about a restaurant, I usually find something wrong with it. My mother used to say I was “contrary.”
Everyone loves Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. Even my father, in NJ, was excited to hear that we’d be moving to Ann Arbor because of Zingerman’s. It turns out he had been ordering online from them for years. That’s right – someone who lives right outside of New York City orders from this Midwestern company.

I was skeptical.

When I had an all-chocolate dinner party this spring, a friend brought Zingerman’s chocolate bread and their chocolate cherry bread.

“Two kinds of chocolate bread?,” I thought. “That’s ridiculous.” I was convinced it would be too heavy or a weird concoction of things that shouldn’t go together just so they could charge more.

With a chunk of smooth chocolate in my mouth, it was impossible to find fault with the enterprise that is Zingerman’s. Sure, they are crazy expensive (especially for Ann Arbor) and have complicated ordering rules in their deli, but they do produce and import some amazing food.

This bread, when toasted so the chocolate becomes slightly gooey like a brownie, is a luxurious breakfast toast. Be sure to add a little whole-milk butter.

It isn’t available everyday (see what I mean about the rules?), but you can call ahead, ask when it will be available and reserve a loaf or two. If you place your order by phone, everything will be ready for you to run into their busy deli and avoid the very long lines.

I bought a loaf to share with my parents on Thanksgiving morning. We couldn’t cook too much that day, right?

See, Ma, I’m perking up as I age. I just needed chocolate for breakfast.

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