Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jacques Torres
Candlelit dinners and long-stemmed roses are nice, but who are we kidding? Valentine's Day is all about the chocolate. This year we thought we'd expand our chocolate horizons by forgoing the Whitman's Sampler in favor of a few small chocolate producers who are doing their best to make chocolate even more enjoyable. Here's a look at some chocolates that will make a memorable impression this Valentine's Day.
Jacques Torres calls himself Mr. Chocolate, and we think it's an apt title. His New York chain of chocolate shops are a wonderland of all things cocao-based. A born romantic, Torres works his high quality chocolate into all sorts of Valentine's Day gifts including cork-shaped Champagne Truffles, Raspberry Caramel Body Paint, and a Kissing Game (shown in photo) complete with chocolate game pieces.
The Chocolate Bacon Bar is Vosges's delicious and indulgent claim to fame, but this small Chicago-based producer has all sorts of lovely chocolate gifts perfect for Valentine's Day gifting. We are particularly partial to the Sweet Coquette Collection, a 48-piece box of truffles that includes aphrodisiac flavors such as Absinthe, Rose Champagne, and Kumamoto Oysters.
Based in Brooklyn, The Mast Brothers view chocolate making similarly to winemaking. They source their organically grown beans from small farms in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Madagascar and process back in New York. Their lovingly wrapped bars, made from only cocao beans and organic cane sugar, are wonderfully complex on their own and even better when flavored with a touch of Fleur de Sel or Cocao Nibs.
La Foret, a small chocolate producer in the Napa Valley, makes tiny filled chocolates that look like precious little jewels. Instead of selling their gorgeous Bourbon Eggnog and Smoked Maple Pecan treats in stores, La Foret offers a chocolate subscription program where those who sign up receive shipments of their latest creations. Think of it as a Valentine's Day gift that keeps on giving.
Would you buy one of these chocolates for your Valentine? Chime in below!