Thursday, February 8, 2007

Boxed Chocolates in Short

Today I’m going to do all boxed chocolates all day long. Perhaps a half a dozen of them. However, there are a few chocolatiers that have entered my radar (mostly from the Fancy Food Show) that I can offer little bites on (to supplement the Chocolate Gift Guide):

Bissinger’s - it appears that this 80-year-old St. Louis, MO, chocolate company has reinvented itself, with a more modern look and updated flavors. The catalog they sent me after the Fancy Food Show was certainly tempting. I tried some of their marshmallows, and Spa Chocolates as well as their tasty Green Tea Gummi Bears. Order online of locate one of their retail stores. Moderate prices and elegant/fun packaging.

Lillie Belle Farms - based in Jacksonville, OR, this chocolatier uses organic (and fair trade when possible) ingredients, many of which are grown on the farm. Innovative flavor combinations, tasty caramels, smooth truffles ... I really liked the black pepper truffle I tasted at the Fancy Food Show. Order online or find in stores in Oregon. Moderate to expensive.

Valerie’s Confections - Los Angeles based toffee-maker and confectioner,  they have a great sense of elegance paired with comfort-candies. They have a special Valentine’s confection assortment (free local delivery if you use the code VAL when ordering $40 or more). Order online or pick up at a local store. Expensive. (Full review of other items here.)

B.T. McElrath - a Minneapolis-based chocolatier. I tried a few of their assortment at the Fancy Food Show and was pleased with them. The truffles and seasonal offerings are lovely to look at. They’re sold via their website and I saw many of their smaller mixed chocolate boxes at Whole Foods last weekend. Expensive.

If you’re looking for some other opinions on fine chocolates, check out these stories:

Consumer Reports tries out fine chocolates (from 2006), and a second write up based on the NY Chocolatiers mentioned.
This year NPR tried out some of the big names as well. I can’t say I agree with all their assessments, but they have a very nice list. (There are a few on their list that I still haven’t tried.)

UPDATE: February 12, 2007: Consumer Reports has done another taste test. Though you have to be a full subscriber to see all the results, here’s a brief report of how everyone did.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:14 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyChocolatierReviewValentinesChocolate7-Worth ItShopping

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