Chocolate season is upon us, and I have been busy doing research so you can find the best chocolates for yourself or your significant other. Yes – I do these things for you!
Here’s a little secret to start. Some of my best chocolate finds are often at T.J Maxx or Marshalls. Their food section is often filled with exotic and hard to find candy bars at really reasonable prices. My two new loves from there are Reber’s Mozart Chocolade, which is filled with hazelnut AND pistachio creme:
and Chip’n Dipped Chocolatier’s Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Ghaham:
Both were really amazing – high quality chocolate with rich flavors just different enough to really wake your senses – and apparently the cinnamon graham bar is vegan, which is truly hard to believe! Now the Reber bar I’ve been able to find on Amazon, but the Chip’n Dipped bar seems to only be found on their website. I’d love to know how this bar wound up in a Marshalls, if only chocolate bars could talk!
Cinnamon seems to be the thing these days because I got these little cinnamon chocolate bites in my latest Love with Food tasting box. They were the perfect little bite to let melt on your tongue and the flavor was just fantastic! I liked them so much I used my saved up points to buy a whole bag. I really love Love with Food and they whole way the company works – and I love these NewTree chocolates!
Another great find has been World Market’s Milk Chocolate Coconut Flakes with Black Lava Sea Salt. World Market is one of my all time favorite stores, but there isn’t one close to me. Recently I’ve discovered their online store, which not only has tons of hard to get foods from all over the world, but their own line. This chocolate bar was seriously good. Creamy, sweet and salty all at the same time. Every few weeks they offer free shipping deals, and I stock up on them for my ‘research’ pile (see how I suffer for my work?).
My all time favorite chocolate, though (and I’ve mentioned this before) is Vosges. There is just no comparison, as far as I’m concerned. Their new Valentine’s Day catalog came in the mail the other day, and there is no other way to describe it than ‘food porn’:
Their newest truffle offerings include milk chocolate with pistachio paste and rose water, dark chocolate with ancho chilies and cinnamon, and white chocolate with champagne and oyster-infused fresh cream (which I could pretty much pass on, but I’m still incredibly intrigued with the concept). These are all part of their new ‘Guided Aphrodisiac Tasting’ for the holiday. It’s not cheap – but it will impress – and they have plenty of non-oyster flavors as well.
If a big Vosges heart shaped box is a little out of your budget (and it’s out of mine, I don’t mind splurging, but splurging + shipping costs is just too much for me), many stores carry their amazing chocolate bars and sometimes even their caramels and hot chocolate mixes. Whole Foods and Wegmans carries them as do many local specialty chocolate shops. Or you could just head down to Soho if you are in New York City or their Vegas or Chicago stores. They have tasting events there too!
But if you still can’t find them, they have recently started a sister company that uses all American farm and artisan products. It’s called Wild Opheila, and some of their products have hit Target stores for the Valentine season. They have several heart-shaped boxes of caramels, including this one:
I couldn’t bring myself to buy a heart shaped box for myself to take home and devour whole the same day (hint, hint, husband) but I did pick up one of their chocolate bars which I was really pleased to see Target was also carrying for the season. They have some pretty wild flavors, including this one with bbq potato chips:
I know it sounds strange, but I found myself wishing that these was even more bbq flavor in this bar. The chocolate had great flavor,and the smokiness and crunch of the chips were very nice, but I really could have gone for more of the bbq bite. I’m almost temped to buy a bag of bbq chips and dip them in chocolate myself just to see what it would be like.
Well that’s it for my most recent discoveries, but don’t worry – I’m always on the job for you discovering new chocolates!