St. Clement's Sweets - Chocolate Sea-Salt Clementines

Pope St. Clement, disciple of St. Peter and St. Paul, is mentioned in Philippians 4:3, "I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life." He was consecrated a bishop by St. Peter and is listed as the 3rd or 4th pope (depending on listing). He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Clementines in the name given to the curious religious romance which has come down to us in two forms composed by Pope St. Clement I. The Greek form is preserved only in two Manuscripts and consists of twenty books of homilies. Pope St. Clement was exiled to the Crimea and was martyred in the persecutions of Trajan around 100 AD, being thrown from a ship with an anchor around his neck. He is depicted in papal robes and his primary symbol is the anchor. Among his many patronages are sailors and blacksmiths.

St. Clement's Day was a big celebration in many places, with metal workers and blacksmiths getting the day off. There are many traditions associated with it, including "clementing" or "clemening" - a custom of children going door to door asking for apples or other treats in exchange for singing.

When I learned in my reading about his writings being referred to as Clementine literature, the tasty little citrus fruits immediately came to mind as a great connection to this papal saint.  It is perfect timing as the clementine cuties are just starting to become abundant in the stores - this is the beginning of their peak season - right as we celebrate St. Clement's feast!

Here is a snack idea to make to celebrate his November 23 feast day. The recipe comes from The Food Network blog (contributor Dana Angelo White). It is a tasty, unique blend of sweet and salty, and I have always loved the combination of citrus and chocolate. In addition to the clementine name similarity, the use of the sea salt recalls his connection to the sea, place of his martyrdom and receding sea miracle associated with that. They are so pretty, too. It is a simple snack to prepare so great for a busy day when you want to celebrate the feast but don't have a lot of time. And so easy to make that it is a good cooking with kids project.

3-4 clementines
2 ounces dark chocolate, shaved
fleur de sel (sea salt)
~amounts can be adjusted as desired

How to:
Peel clementines and separate into sections. Melt chocolate in microwave (or in double boiler). Dip each wedge in chocolate. Set on wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle chocolate with pinch of sea salt flakes while chocolate still soft. Let set to cool and solidify chocolate. Serve when set. Can be placed in the refrigerator to speed the setting of chocolate.

Pope St. Clement, Pray for us!

[NOTE: This year November 23 falls on a Sunday, which also happens to be the Solemnity of Christ the King, so a major feast which takes precedence.  St. Clement could also be recognized in your domestic church or you may opt to celebrate him on a different day this weekend. One other idea I had was that these citrusy chocolate nuggets look a little like succulent jewels - fitting for a royalty - the King of the Universe. ] Pin It


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