Monday, June 21, 2010
I love chocolate. My preference is for dark 70% + plain artisanal French chocolate. Yes, I know this is blasphemy to some people who say the Belgian or Swiss make better products, but having spent time in both Belgium and Switzerland eating a LOT of chocolate, I can state that my preference is still for the French products. Fine chocolate is as expensive as the quality ingredients, time and skill it takes to make it. But a few bites of exquisitely made fine chocolate fills your senses with a richness and smoothness which no factory chocolate could ever rival.
My favorite chocolatier is Debauve & Gallais which has been making chocolates for royalty since 1800. They have opened a store in NY which ships nationwide so now you don't have to travel to Paris to buy their luxurious bonbons (a ten piece box costs $32), but walking into their shop on Rue St. Peres is worth the price of airfare just to smell the aromas. Last time I was in the shop, a very famous American icon was shopping with her teeny dog (no,it was not PH, her initials were LB*) buying up a huge shopping bag full of delicacies. Modest purchases are possible in the store with a bar of chocolate going for about $8 USD, but indulge at least once in some truffles ($48 for ten) and get a taste of what royalty enjoyed.
My need for a chocolate fix here led me to find Bovetti, which is sold at the Wine House. I was actually shopping for wine when I saw a display of unusual plaques (bars) of chocolate speckled with candied orange peel, Sichuan pepper, lavender, or ginger. I saw on their website they also sell organic, single origin (Ecuador), molded bunnies and other seasonal forms, aperitif (made to be cooked or eaten with alcohol), even grapes in Sauternes coated in chocolate! I chose the classic 73% dark bar ($7) which I love so much I may have to buy a case.
* For those of you who want to another clue think Bogey :)