Anyone with a nose definitely knows that it’s all about the presentation of chocolate. Daring to move beyond the “candy” in cheesy, red cellophane swaddled cardboard boxes that usually end up with finger-dented middles (and in the trash) takes heart...and a little research. Thank goodness for chocolatiers that provide options!
Chocolatiers are a smidge different from your average chocolate makers. Believe it or not, chocolatiers usually begin their paths as confectionary or pastry chefs. They are primarily charged with dreaming up and creating candies, desserts and works of art from chocolate.
Most everyone has access to a wonderful brick-and-mortar candy shop with wonderful chocolate and there are wonderful virtual chocolatiers who will treat your delicate package with great care then mail it to your front door.
HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITES:
Jacques Torres Chocolate (New York City) - Dare to be different. This sweet shop not only offers the requisite truffles, take a gander at the hot chocolate and Spankers, chocolate hearts on a sticks. Naughty.
Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company (Atlanta) - Chocolatier Kristen Hard literally scours the recesses of the Amazon in pursuit of premium beans used to concoct ice cream (and, yes, it CAN be shipped. Enter ‘dry ice.’), chocolate bars and marshmallows.
Godiva Chocolate (Most major cities) - The grandaddy of all chocolate desires; don’t count out the tried and true. White and dark chocolates in the forms of truffles, coffees and baked goods never disappoint.
Cocoa Bella Chocolate (San Francisco) - European chocolate at its finest, Cocoa Bella challenges you to create your very own custom box starting at a mere $40. With individual truffle options with names like “Champagne”, “Single Malt Scotch” and “Peanut And Jelly”, you will be hard pressed to go wrong.
Shameeka Ayers is an Atlanta-based lifestyle blogger and author who dispenses entertaining, shelter and food & wine anecdotes and advice via her alter ego, The Broke Socialite. She also produces a national tour of curated dessert-tasting experiences, Sugar Coma Events™. Her first novella, Instantly: How Quickly I Realized I Hate My Job will be published in 2012.