The Allure of Gourmet Chocolate

Nothing beats the taste of a truly divine chocolate that is made with the finest and purest ingredients. For the chocolate connoisseur, only gourmet chocolate will do; chocolate that is surely no 50-cent treat but a luscious indulgence that is meant to be savored and cherished like good wine and good food. In recent years, more and more chocolatiers are putting up chocolate shops, creating hand-made chocolate and confections that contain higher cacao levels than those mass-produced chocolates you can buy at the grocery store. These master chocolate makers use natural flavors and some unusual ingredients like chili peppers and grated lime to make your chocolate experience even more interesting. But because they make custom and gourmet chocolates, you can also expect gourmet prices, as much as seventy dollars for a pound of chocolate! But don’t worry. There are also gourmet chocolates sold for less than ten dollars-fairly affordable and a good investment for the true chocolate lover. Below are some of the best gourmet chocolates in town.

Ganache Chocolates

Former corporate pastry chef of the Ritz Carlton, Norman Love, together with partner Judy Limekiller founded Ganache, a chocolate store that serves visually stunning and delicious chocolate. Their chocolate molds are air brushed or hand-painted with a candy-coating and filled with imported chocolate from France, Belgium, and Switzerland. They also add various fresh ingredients to their chocolates such as hazelnuts, bananas, raspberries, and even ginger.

La Maison du Chocolat

When it comes to luxuriousness, nothing can beat La Maison du Chocolat. La Maison chocolates come in an exquisite presentation of colored leather boxes that is elegant enough to hold jewelry. They offer decadent delights such as mendicants (chocolate lavishly sprinkled with nuts, dried fruits, or orange peel), marrons glaces, and dark and milk chocolate truffles. Their ganache fillings are not made of milk fat but of pure cocoa butter.

Dagoba Organic Chocolate

Organic chocolate used to be boring and tasteless and left chocoholics gravely disappointed, but thanks to inventive chocolatiers such as former chef Frederick Schilling, owner of Dagoba Organic Chocolate, organic chocolate will never be the same again. This time, you can drown in decadence with the exciting varieties and flavors Dagoba has to offer such as chocolate roseberry (raspberry and rosehips), hazelnut, chocolate mint and rosemary, chai (milk chocolate with anise, cardamom, black pepper, clover, and cinnamon) lime and macadamia nut, and the conventional milk and dark chocolate. Schilling buys only handpicked, organic cacao beans from co-ops in Central America and the Dominican Republic, and pays the farmers full price getting Dagoba a Fair Trade certification.

Garrison Confections

Former pastry chef of the upscale La Cote Basque in New York made a line of colorful and elaborately designed chocolates to serve the restaurant’s patrons after their meals and continued on to create Garrison confections, his very own chocolate company. His signature chocolate is couveture, chocolate for making truffles and pastries such as molten chocolate. It is very popular among pastry chefs across the country. Other specialties include chocolates flavored with honey and fresh herbs; almond, macadamia and hazelnut praline; and mint-flavored mojito.

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About The Author, Chris Alleny
Chris Alleny writes about various subjects including food. For more information on fine homemade gourmet chocolates visit