We may have heard about the finest chocolates in Europe, but do you know that there are also great chocolates that are found in good ol’ USA? The popular periodical USA Today has compiled a list of 10 places across the mainland where you can have the finest chocolates you can either give to your loved ones or savor for yourself.
John & Kira’s Chocolates
At first glances, their chocolate may look the same thin squares of dark chocolate with squiggles on top, but each ganache has a fresh and distinct flavor. The names for each chocolate is based on the are where its ingredients were sourced, such as all-time favorites Glenn’s Raspberry (with fruits from Glenn’s Farm) and Drew Elementary School Garden Mint (with mint leaves picked from a school garden). Another best-seller is the Chocolate Figs, which were featured in The Martha Stewart Show. Call 800-747-4808.
B.T. McElrath Chocolatier
This company maintains its tradition of doing everything by hand, from the chopping to the molding. The ingredients were sourced from sustainable programs as well as from local family-owned farms. Each box of chocolates contain a particular flavor like Passion Fruit, Salted Butter Caramel, Chile Limon, and Lemon Blossoms. Contact 612-331-8800.
Jacque Torres Chocolate
Owned by the former pastry chef of Le Cirque, this shop is known for the limited-edition “bean to bar chocolate,” which Mr. Jacque Torres personally makes using vintage machines. His Champagne Truffles—combining milk chocolate, fresh cream, and Taittinger Brut La Francaise—are to die for. Call 212-414-2462.
This artisan chocolate shop only uses fresh and natural ingredients. Confections are made in small batches. Its array of flavors is an odd mix, such as the Burnt Caramel Hazelnuts, Dark Chocolate-coated Apples, or the delicate herbs and teas found in its Signature Truffles. Can’t decide what to buy? Try out its 88-piece Platinum Collection, with all of Recchiuti’s signature flavors in one box. Call 415-834-9494.
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
Apart from its handmade chocolates, this store prides of its Mice and Penguins, those adorable creatures made from dark, milk, or white chocolate. The mice come complete with a colorful silk tail, while the penguins are hand-piped and accented with white chocolate. People with specific allergies or restrictions may enjoy the store’s offering of nuts-free and alcohol-free chocolates. Contact 603-756-2882.
This line of artisan chocolates has intense flavors and beautiful craftsmanship. Let your eyes be amazed and your mouth be enthralled with its beautifully-decorated Seasonal Collection, with each piece containing a flavor from its current collection such as Raspberry Hibiscus, Earl Grey and Mandarin, and Dark Marzipan. Another recommended product is the Ultimate Candy Bar, a chocolate nougat with toasted hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds, topped with caramel and covered with bittersweet chocolate. Call 401-490-2740.
Norman Love Confections
Fort Myers, FL
This shop prides of its hand-painted or airbrushed chocolate creations. It is best to treat each piece like wine, savoring it as you take in the rich bouquet of the likes of licorice, dried plum, and roasted hazelnuts, then take them in as you feel the flavors of fresh lemon, black currants, and grapefruit into your mouth. Call 239-561-7215.
Santa Cruz, CA
Donnelly’s truffles should not be missed, each containing surprising flavors like lemongrass, organic lemon, and rosemary. Its small chocolate bars, meanwhile, are handmade and wrapped in Japanese paper with flavors like cardamon, Chinese five spice, rose, and smoky spicy chipotle. Contact 888-685-1871.
Assuring only the finest ingredients, Candinas recommends to consume their signature truffles as soon as possible and it shouldn’t be a problem. The truffles, covered in very thin shells, have a variety of flavors like Jasmine Green Tea, Champagne, Irish Crème, and Dark Hazelnut. Call 800-845-1554.
South Bridgewater, CT
This factory uses only local dairy products with no preservatives, additives or artificial flavors. They may only offer traditional flavors like Hazelnut, Orange, and Coffee, but these classically-made chocolates are bound to take you back to nostalgia. Best sellers include Assorted Truffles and Toffee Assortment. Contact 800-888-8742.