Try it with a ham milkshake


December 19, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

You know Baltimore is an offbeat town not because there's a store here selling both chocolate and shoes, but because one of shop's best sellers is a chocolate bar with bacon.

The bacon bar from Chicago chocolatier Vosges costs $6.99 for 3 ounces - more than $35 a pound. And Baltimoreans can't get enough of it.

"We just went through three cases in a matter of days," says Susannah Siger, owner of Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden. "We're practically sold out of it."

If anyone out there decides to try a bacon bar, I suggest you do so with Amanda Pellerin, 35, a local potter and sculptor who champions the treat as wine guru Robert Parker would a fruit bomb. She happened to be in the store when I stopped in to buy a bar and was good enough to walk me through my first experience with 41 percent cacao blended with bits of fried pig.

"Pop it in your mouth and just hold it in your mouth ... because you want it to acclimate to your body and then you can really - when it warms up - that's when you want to sink your teeth into it so you can crunch onto the crispiness of the bacon. That's when you get the smoky [taste] and you're like, `Ooh, bacon.'"

The bacon bar is drawing a new demographic to the shop, which Siger said "was mentioned in Laura Lippman's book as being too girly for the protagonist."

"Who it really resonates with is men," she said. "Men love the bacon chocolate."

It's Gingrich-Gilchrest and Steele-????

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will travel to Annapolis next month to endorse Rep. Wayne Gilchrest and headline a fundraising banquet for his campaign. Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele also will attend the Jan. 10 event - interesting because former Gov. Bob Ehrlich is backing state Sen. Andy Harris in the 1st District race.

Does that mean Steele has split with his old boss and is endorsing Gilchrest? I asked GOPAC, the Republican team-building group that Steele chairs and Gingrich, incidentally, founded.

"He's going to introduce the speaker, Newt Gingrich," said Paul Ellington, president of GOPAC.

So Steele's not endorsing Gilchrest?

"There will be a further announcement, but we're not ready to say what that is at this time," Ellington said.

Ellington added that as an organization, GOPAC does not endorse candidates, but Steele personally may do so.

Gilchrest spokesman Tony Caligiuri said this much: "In Maryland, Michael Steele is as big a respected conservative icon as Newt Gingrich, and we're tremendously excited that he's coming to the event."

For this we spent three years in law school?

Prosecutors and defense attorneys really go at in front of the jury, but behind the scenes, do they actually get along? Not judging by an on-the-record conversation in the judge's chambers during Matthew Timothy McCullough's trial.

Excepts from the trial transcript were filed recently because McCullough, sentenced in 2005 to 100 years for the Randallstown High School shootings, has asked for a new sentencing hearing. There was a hearing to consider that request last week. That's when The Sun's Jennifer McMenamin came across a testy exchange in the transcript. It was prompted by the jury's request for a tape recorder, presumably to hear the 911 call.

Prosecutor S. Ann Brobst: Here's a tape recorder.

Defense attorney Timothy M. Dixon: There's nothing on the tape recorder that says it's from your office, is it?

Brobst: No. It just says -

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Patrick Cavanaugh: What's on there?

Brobst: You can certainly look it over. I made sure it was empty. It does say, for warranty repair, do not return to store, call Sanyo for service.

Dixon: I have a problem with that.

Brobst: Doesn't surprise me.

Dixon: Perhaps if we use a Samsung.

Cavanaugh: There's one on my secretary's desk. ...

Prosecutor Stephen Bailey: The record should reflect it's just a tape player. It doesn't have radio ...

Dixon: What kind of batteries, Mr. Bailey?

Bailey: I don't know. I didn't put them in. Ms. Brobst?

Brobst: Two double A batteries -

Dixon: What brand?

Brobst: - neither of which indicate they're from the state's attorney's office. Duracell.

Dixon: Duracell is fine.

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