Have a hankering for chocolate from small, artisan producers? Check out the Chocolate & Candy category on Foodzie, a website that describes itself as “an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food directly from small passionate food producers and growers.” It works like this: browse an assortment of chocolates from chocolatiers across the U.S., place the chocolates you want in your shopping cart, check out, and your goodies ship directly from the producers. Convenient, local, and fresh, what more could a gourmet chocolate lover want?
The Art of Chocolate December 19, 2008
Looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer? Trader Joe’s has the perfect gift: “The Art of Chocolate”. Each 3.25″ square box contains nine miniature Belgian chocolates: a crisp hazelnutpaste praliné, a crisp chocolate truffle, a cream and vanilla truffle, a white and milk chocolate praliné, a milk chocolate praliné, a dark chocolate mocha praliné, a dark chocolate cream and pistachio truffle, a white chocolate praliné, and a white chocolate mocha praliné. They’re quite good, too. Perhaps not as smooth as higher-end gourmet chocolates, but tasty nonetheless. Plus, they look adorable in their tiny box. The best part, though? At $1.99 per box you can afford to buy one for every Christmas stocking in your home!
Lake Champlain Five Star Chocolate Bar—Hazelnut September 19, 2008
Oh, dear. I’ve been trying to cut back on chocolate (sacrilege, I know) and now I discover these little chunks of heaven. Lake Champlain calls them “Hazelnut Five Star Chocolate Bars,” but really they’re more like pralinés from a Swiss chocolatier. Biting through the thin milk chocolate exterior, one discovers a heavenly gianduja that’s alternately melt-in-your-mouth smooth and tantalizingly crispy. The bars may seem pricey at $3.99 for 1.9oz (at Whole Foods), but as a treat they’re worth every penny. Plus, someone with greater restraint than I could easily make two servings out of a bar. Okay, maybe not easily, but it might be possible if you read the nutrition facts first!
The Chocolate Gallery April 6, 2008
Have you heard of The Chocolate Gallery? It’s a small chocolatier in Goleta, Calif. Apparently they’re best known for their novelty chocolates—personalized chocolate telegrams, gold foiled coins, chocolate molded into various sizes and shapes, from dinosaurs to computer accessories. They also make more traditional chocolates, however, and it was these that I recently had the pleasure of sampling.
I started with a pair of dark and milk chocolate chews. Although I’m not generally a fan of caramel, I have to admit I was impressed. The centers were neither too salty nor too sweet, and they perfectly complemented the rich, smooth, creamy milk and dark chocolate exteriors.
Next up were the meltaways and truffles. Not unexpectedly, the exteriors were similar to those of the chews. A surprise was waiting inside, though! Instead of a simple texture, the interiors were simultaneously smooth and granular. Or alternately smooth and granular? It’s difficult to describe, but it created a most interesting mouthfeel. And bonus—the truffles were enormous! [UPDATE: not all of the meltaways/truffles had this unique texture. Perhaps it’s limited to certain flavors?]
Chocolates from The Chocolate Gallery can be purchased in-store or ordered via the web or phone. I recommend using the first page of their web site to navigate the categories of their online catalog, as the myriad of product listings can be overwhelming.
Chocolate mice January 2, 2008
A friend told me about these adorable chocolate mice from L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates in Walpole, New Hampshire. They come in three flavors: dark chocolate with orange and dark interior, milk chocolate with coffee and dark interior, and white chocolate with cinnamon and dark interior.
If mice creep you out, don’t fret. L.A. Burdick also sells boxes of dark and white chocolate penguins.
The incredible, edible chocolate box December 11, 2007
What a clever idea this is—chocolates in boxes made of chocolate. According to the manufacturer, Charles Chocolates of Emeryville, Calif., one can “enjoy the chocolates inside, then savor the box.” I wonder, are the lids edible, too?
Thanks to princess_of_llyr for posting the photo at right to flickr.