Friday, November 7, 2008

Mitchell’s Candies

Mitchell's Candies - The Graecia CollectionWhile in Cleveland Heights my mother wanted to show me this little chocolate shop that she’s been visiting.

Mitchell’s Candies was founded in 1939 by Chris Mitchell as a classic sweet shop, with a soda fountain right next to a movie theater. Patrons would buy sweets to take into the films and then come by afterwards to share a treat. But as the times changed their core business remained their handmade chocolate dipped candies. The store is now run by the second generation, Bill Mitchell.

Mr. Mitchell was working behind the counter when we came in and was able to answer any questions I had, and more. He also gave me several samples, which is always a plus in my sweet world.

Mitchell's Candies - The Graecia Collection

The Gaecia Collection is a departure from the other more traditional offerings at Mitchell’s Candies. The flavor combinations are alluring, some of them are pairings that I’ve never had before. They sound unique and well thought out. The pieces themselves are rather small, about a half an ounce each.

What follows is mostly gratuitous close-ups of the individual pieces.

Mitchell's Candies - CallistoCallisto

Pistachio & almond butter white chocolate gianduia. Sweet, grassy, a little nutty and quite buttery.

The little pistachio on top (yes, it was really that green) gives it extra crunch and the bittersweet enrobing keeps it from becoming too sweet. The cocoa butter was a real plus here, the richness of the fat gave the otherwise delicate flavors an opportunity to emerge.

Mitchell's Candies - GalateaGalatea

Fresh raspberry pate de fruit with a touch of Chambord. Topped with a rustic styled hazelnut ganache with little crunchies.

This was the only all-milk chocolate piece on the assortment and it was definitely the sweetest. It reminded me (in the best way possible) of a berry laced coffee cake. The mix of the tart and jammy berries, the nutty flavor and the little crunchies was a really comforting mix and completely unique. (I would love this as a bar with a shortbread cookie base.)

Mitchell's Candies - AgamedeAgamede

A pistachio frappe creme (kind of like a dulce de leche with pistachios) covered with a dark chocolate ganache with notes of roses and cherries.

It sounds kind of freaky and it is a bit of a riot of flavors and textures, but the lilting rose melds so well with the darker musky notes of the cherry, chocolate and almonds.

Perhaps it’s that so many of the fine chocolates I’ve been eating are West Coast and inspired by Asian and Central/South American flavors (chili, green tea, exotic citrus, sea salts, curry, etc.), these combinations struck me as both classic and innovative at the same time.

Mitchell's Candies - KastaliaKastalia

Milk chocolate ganache with Earl Grey tea and dark chocolate ganache with a whisper of lemon.

This was the smoothest, satiny-est ganache I’ve had in a long time. Not too sweet and super-fatty. The black tea notes here were as noticeable as the bergamot of the Earl Grey.

The chocolate played its role well, too. The woodsy notes mixed with with the slightly acidic citrus zest.

One of my favorite pieces in the mix.

Mitchell's Candies - DaphneDaphne

Two different marzipans with pistachios and ginger, dipped in dark chocolate and topped with an orange peel candied with Cointreau.

The top and larger layer is a traditional amaretto marzipan, a very small grain to it which gave it a smooth consistency and strong almond flavor but good buttery notes. The bottom layer is pistachio which is more like a peanut butter, with stark floral notes. Towards the end there was a little spicy warmth of the ginger.

Mitchell's Candies - PallasPallas

Milk chocolate gianduia with a liberal splash of Ouzo and dark chocolate gianduia with espresso.

This was the piece that sold me on the assortment in the first place. Sweet simplicity. Perhaps a little too sweet but it’s so pungent as well (kind of contaminated the rest of the box with the anise flavors). It doesn’t look impressive, like some sort of block of fudge, but it’s far from bland and chalky. If I have one suggestion for this piece though it’s that it should be wrapped in foil to keep the intense anise from getting into the other chocolates.

While at the shop I also picked up quite a few other chocolates, sold by the pound, to eat during my travels.

First, what impressed me most was that the majority of the offerings were dark chocolate. It was just so enticing to see the intense dark assortments in the case. All of the dark chocolates are covered in a 52% cacao blend, it’s rich and fatty with a good smooth consistency. The enrobing and dipping was also well-tempered. Nothing is more enticing than rows and rows of shiny chocolate.

The chocolates are $45 to $50 a pound and are prepackaged in boxes for easy gifting or you can pick your own mix (take away in a bag or gift box).

I picked up some chocolate covered glace ginger medallions, chocolate covered orange peel, chocolate dipped Australian figs, Italian style nougat. The standouts were the ginger medallions (smooth, woodsy and fresh) and the Rum Toffee, which had a more complex oak, tobacco & molasses flavor than the straight toffee (which was also good). The caramels were buttery and all the pieces with nuts or preserved fruits were really fresh and vibrant. The fig was very sweet and I think needed a much darker chocolate to offset it.

I can definitely say that if my mother moves to Cleveland, this is a spot I’ll be visiting again. (Though the website is pretty tempting as they offer free shipping.)

Related Candies

  1. Lillie Belle Farms Assortment
  2. Sucre
  3. BonBonBars: Malt Ganache & Scotch
  4. The Alien Forehead Chocolate Collection
  5. Theo Confections
  6. Recchiuti
  7. Chuao Chocolatier
Name: Graecia Collection
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mitchell's Fine Candies
Place Purchased: Mitchell's Fine Candies (Cleveland Heights, OH)
Price: $8.95
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Ginger, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:50 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. arenee's avatar

    Oooooo!  I would LOVE to try this stuff - it looks fabulous!

    Comment by arenee on 11/07/08 at 1:17 pm #
  2. This looks very good.  I grew up in that area but never heard of this candy shop.  I may have to check it out.

    Comment by Jason on 11/08/08 at 7:19 am #
  3. I grew up less than a mile from there as a young kid but have no memory of this place. I used to walk right by there to get to the library and YMCA. I guess my parents did a good job keeping me away from candy if I didn’t form a memory of it!

    Comment by Carl Weaver on 11/10/08 at 8:55 am #
  4. I apologize for using your Almond Joy photograph on my blog! Thank you for the notice. Honestly, I had just googled images and did not realize it was a picture requested not to be used w/out permission because I did not actually visit your site. I removed it from my blog and replaced it with a picture from the Hershey site like you recommended smile I will be more careful in the future!

    Comment by pearl on 11/10/08 at 12:34 pm #
  5. The goddess name theme on these is really neat… sounds like they fit their names, too!

    Comment by maggie on 11/10/08 at 3:15 pm #
  6. Thank you for telling us about these! I go to Cleveland Heights all the time (I love it there!), so I’ll be sure to add this place to my list of places to go!

    Comment by Abby on 12/06/08 at 6:44 am #

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