“Chocolet covered jalapenos” the sign attached to the side of the cooler reads. Dennis flips open the lid, pulls out a tray of chocolet covered jalapeno peppers and places them on the table before me.
“You spelled chocolate wrong,” I blurt, explaining that I am an English minor and I can’t overlook the misspelling.
“It’s French. Choc-o-LET,” emphasizes Lois, who’s stepped across the sidewalk to see what all the fuss is about at Dennis’ table.
We laugh. I don’t bother to correct Dennis on the spelling of the “Pickeled eggs” he’s selling for a quarter at the Faribault Farmers’ Market. He’s more interested in getting me to try an egg after my refusal to try a chocolet jalapeno. I love chocolate but…
Dennis dips into the wide-mouth container he stores inside another cooler and fishes out a hard-boiled egg the color of pale mustard. The pungent sting of vinegar nips at my nostrils. I’m not so sure about this, especially when an audience awaits my reaction. I cautiously bite into the cold, slippery egg.
“It’s OK.” I pause. “It’s different. How Minnesotan is that?”
Again, laughter. I ask Dennis how he came up with chocolet covered jalapenos. He saw them on a television food show.
“It’s kind of a buzz down here, what I’m doing,” Dennis says, explaining how he strives to offer unusual foods to customers. He also peddles horseradish. And this Saturday morning, he’s sold 27 loaves of apple and zucchini bread he’s baked.
As for those jalapenos, I suppose some brave souls will plunk down two bits for one of Dennis’ chocolet sensations.
I, however, prefer my chocolate without jalapenos, please. And my jalapenos without chocolet.
(Check back for more blogs about the Faribault Farmers’ Market this week. This Central Park market proved a hotbed for photos and stories.)