found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

For the chocolate connoisseur

This post was my husband’s, idea.  Because I’m such a chocolate fiend and over time and travel have managed to taste so many kinds!  I’m partial to the Belgian style of chocolates over the French or Swiss.  So, here’s the list and how to buy:

  • Wittamer – one of the greatest Belgian chocolates, store is on Place du Grand Sablon in Brussels, where you must go in person to get their extraordinary fresh cream pralines (my preferred type of chocolates, infused with flavor and not as heavy as some truffles) — the best I have ever had.  You can order some of the other products online.

  • Pierre Marcolini – the other greatest Belgian chocolate house, also on the same Place in Brussels. My favorites pralines are the Violette, the Baies Roses, and Earl Grey.
  • Woodhouse – my favorite chocolates in the U.S., handmade in Napa Valley in the Belgian style.  The fresh cream pralines like Honey, Fresh Mint, and Thai Ginger are my faves.  It’s these interesting flavors and the light as air textures that make Woodhouse a winner! The shop is a gem, mirrored, gilt, and filled with glass cases showcasing the fine chocolates on silver trays.  The chocolates are worthy of this royal presentation, and the boxes tied with beautiful grosgrain ribbon makes these the perfect gift.
  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat – another U.S. chocolatier that understands the importance of design, marketing, and PR.  The chocolates themselves are modern and different in flavor, silky smooth in texture.  The truffles are my favorite, but an exotic choc bar will suffice in a pinch, since they’re widely available @ Whole Foods, etc., versus the truffles which are only at their shops.  The Collezione Italiana is my favorite of the truffles, mainly because I love the “Rooster” a truffle made with Taleggio cheese! Strange sounding, perhaps, but really flavorful and addictive.
  • Fran’s – Seattle-based chocolate shop, but what makes them noteworthy is their award-winning caramels.  HEAVENLY! The gray and smoked sea salt caramels enrobed in glossy smooth chocolate is what kicked off the frenzy of salted caramel confections — but few I’ve ever tasted have matched the exquisite simplicity Fran’s delivers. Can be found at some Sur La Table stores and can be ordered online or via phone.
  • Recchiuti – chocolates in the European style out of San Francisco, the burnt caramel and bergamot tea are my favorite pieces.
  • B.T. McElrath – would be remiss to exclude probably the best chocolates in Minnesota.  Their chocolate toffee is the best, and I also love the Zinfandel-Balsamic and the Passion Fruit truffles. Can be found in fine grocers & gift shops all over the Twin Cities, but outside the cities, you can order online.

Other delicious and interesting chocolates to try:

  • Leonidas- Brussels
  • Payard – NY
  • La Maison du Chocolat – Paris
  • Richart- Paris
  • Chocolat Moderne – NY
  • Rogue – MN

2 comments on “For the chocolate connoisseur

  1. Pingback: Gift ideas: Part I | found! not lost blog

  2. Pingback: Stuff your stocking: new chocolate bars from Vosges | found! not lost blog

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This entry was posted on October 23, 2010 by in food and tagged , , , .
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