You’re stranded on a desert island. You can take ten foods with you. And no, there isn’t any other food on the island. Just you, a lot of sand and some palm trees.

CHOC 1So what’s it going to be? Love asparagus? How about eating it everyday for the rest of your life? I mean, think about it – ten foods to eat forever. It’s not easy. Now the practical me, says lemons. They taste great and I won’t get scurvy and end up looking like a toothless pirate.


Chile, of course. Silly question. I’d have my own cache of red and green in powder, crushed and whole. Another no-brainer is chocolate. If I’m hanging out on an island, I want some chocolate because it a) tastes so darn good and, b) makes life look a bit better.

No wonder I love all those articles about the health benefits of chocolate – particularly dark chocolate. There are studies that say it decreases stroke risk, lowers blood pressure, reduces bad cholesterol, boosts your mood (no surprise there), improves vision and even has flavinoids that protect your skin from UV damage. Maybe I could slather some chocolate on as a sunscreen on my island…

And chocolate is a natural with chile. The ancient Aztecs loved drinking chocolate with chile. There’s a great book called The True History of Chocolate by Sophie and Michael Coe that charts the history of chocolate including the chocolate/chile connection.

But I digress….I’m off to a deserted island and I’m taking chocolate, chile and lemons and…I’ll get back to you…

What are your top-ten desert island food picks? Share them with us.

CHOC 7Chile Sea Salt Chocolates

This is my desert island homage. It’s got chile and chocolate and a pinch of sea salt. Heaven.

Makes approximately 20 1 ¾” dark chocolate discs and 20 white chocolate discs.

Dark Chocolate Discs

5 ½ oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tsp chile molido (or more to taste)
1 tsp
chile pequin
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 Tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped

White Chocolate Discs

5 ½ oz white chocolate
1 tsp green chile powder (or more to taste)
1 tsp green chile caribe
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 Tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

CHOC 3CHOC 2The technique for both white and dark chocolate is the same. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water. Melt the chocolate making sure not to over heat it– chocolate can easily separate. When about two-thirds of the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and silky smooth. Stir in the chile powder and taste. You can add more if you’d like more heat but remember you’re topping with chile flakes so don’t go overboard.



CHOC 6Place a non-stick silpat sheet or piece of baking parchment on the counter. Spoon about a tablespoon of the melted chocolate onto silpat or parchment to form a round disc, about 1 ½ to 1 ¾“ in diameter. Dot each one with a few nuts, chile pepper flakes and sea salt flakes. Repeat with the rest of the chocolate. Set aside until the chocolate hardens.

Can be kept in a container in a cool place (but don’t refrigerate).