Gourmet chocolate product reviews
The Hershey bar and beyond - a whole world of chocolate products out there you may not have tried yet.
Photo Credit: Jan Tyler
Chocolate yummmmm. Just about everyone loves chocolate. And I m sure we re all familiar with the Hershey Company and all its products, as well as the Nestle Company and the Mars Company (M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, and Three Musketeers). Perhaps you ve received a Whitmans Sampler for Valentines Day, or even (if you have a wealthy admirer) a gold-foil-wrapped box of Godiva. You can even find imports like Cadbury (British) or Tobler (Swiss) in the candy bar aisle at your supermarket. But for those wishing to venture a bit farther afield into the wonderful world of gourmet chocolate, here are a few brands you may not have tried:
Fanny May No, not related to the federal government-sponsored mortgage program! Fanny May (instead of Fannie Mae) is a chain of chocolate shops based in Chicago and now celebrating their 85th anniversary in the chocolate business. Some favorite Fanny May confections include Mint Meltaways (creamy mint chocolate centers dipped in milk chocolate or in a pastel candy coating), Trinidads (toasted coconut outside, creamy chocolate inside), and Pixies (Fanny May s version of the Turtle, with milk chocolate, caramel, and pecans).
See s These chocolate shops are popular all throughout the West, and headquartered in San Francisco (home as well to the world-famous Ghirardelli chocolate company). See s have been bringing the chocolate for 84 years, and some of their favorite selections include Toffee-ettes (milk chocolate, butter brickle, and almonds in bite-sized morsels), Chocolate Bordeaux (milk or dark chocolate surrounding a brown sugar-buttercream center), Red Hot Swamp Goo (cinnamon jelly and honey marshmallow over a layer of dark chocolate), and Marshmints (same thing, except with mint jelly instead of cinnamon).
Richart this chocolate company is based in Paris and they claim to have the most refined chocolate in the world made from the most refined ingredients. (Needless to say, the prices are pretty refined, too, what with sampler boxes running upwards of $100). Some of the unique flavors they produce include Licorice Ganache, Kumquat Coulis, Ylang Ylang Ganache, Thyme Praline, and Curry Praline.
The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory Chocolates from Hawaii, featuring the finest cacao beans grown in Hawaii. This chocolate is available by mail order in lb. or 1 1b. dark or milk chocolate bars, 6 oz. bags of dark or milk chocolate plumerias (leaf-shaped chocolates), or 4.5 oz. boxes of dark chocolate truffles.
And for those wishing to experience chocolate out of the box ? Well, how about chocolate-dipped potato chips? Sound strange? No stranger than a chocolate-covered pretzel, and those are quite popular these days, available in any supermarket. Chocolate-dipped potato chips, available in dark, milk, and white, are a little harder to find, as is chocolate-covered popcorn-also yummy! Well worth the search, though, and most specialty chocolate shops do carry these items.
And perhaps you ve tried chocolate liqueur at some point. Cr me de Cacao has been around forever, but in more recent years there have been a lot of new gourmet chocolate liqueurs coming on the market - even the Godiva people have introduced a chocolate cream liqueur. Have you ever tried chocolate wine, though? A Danish wine called Kijafa is said to be a mixture of chocolate and cherry flavors. Chocolate port is also a popular after dinner drink two of the brands available are DECO and Joseph Filippi Fondante Ciello. You can even buy chocolate beer how about a Young s Double Chocolate Stout? The Bison, Rogue, and Brooklyn breweries are a few of the other brewers who make a chocolate stout, and yes, they are actually flavored with real chocolate. Yum!
And of course, don t forget, as all the latest medical researchekeeps telling us, chocolate is practically a health food! So why not try an old favorite, or a new one, and have yourself a chocolate treat today?