My own valentine...
February 3, 2006 7:48 PM   Subscribe

It's almost Valentine's day, I've just had a bad breakup and I'd like to buy myself a nice box of chocolate. What should I buy?

I'm adventurous and willing to try something unusual. I'd like a box of chocolate that is good quality, perhaps hand crafted, maybe a sampler. Mostly I want it to taste really really good. I'm trying to treat myself here.

There's a bunch of good looking stuff out there, and I've done some searches, but what actually tastes good? I like dark chocolate a lot, would be interested in some variety. But I'm trying to do a step above a Whitman's Sampler from the corner drugstore.

Bonus points if I've never heard of it before! Also nothing outrageously expensive.
posted by mulkey to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Godiva G collection is pretty decent and easy to get. If you have a chocolate shop nearby, just stop in and ask for a recommendation. El Rey, Scharffen Berger, and the other stuff you can find at Whole Foods isn't bad either..
posted by kcm at 7:56 PM on February 3, 2006

Joseph Schmidt Confections. Good stuff.
posted by my sock puppet account at 7:57 PM on February 3, 2006

I'd gorge myself on Lindt of all kinds, but there's another good chocolate whose name escapes me now. I'd also go for a lot of Cadbury's (Canadian version) for an affordable feast.

And potato chips. And wine.

And Bernard Callabaut. Lots of Bernard Callabaut. And a bit of Purdy's. And some Rogers*, for good measure.

More potato chips, and maybe I'd switch to Stolichnaya vodka.

*I'm in Victoria, BC, Canada.
posted by Savannah at 8:02 PM on February 3, 2006

Another source of quite fun and unusual chocolates is Vosges Chocolate. They're decidely non-traditional flavours, and I can personally vouch that the exotic truffle collection was delicious!
posted by Joh at 8:07 PM on February 3, 2006

I love the vosges stuff. Their caramel sets are a little weird, but the exotic truffle collection is great.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:09 PM on February 3, 2006

Are there any small-batch stores in Tucson that make their own? Maybe the Chocolate Iguana on 4th or maybe the Choc-a-lot?

Savannah - if you like Stolis, give Finlandia a try
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:09 PM on February 3, 2006

These Pierre Marcolini chocolates are amazing. Cool Hunting agrees.
posted by fionab at 8:21 PM on February 3, 2006

I love the Frango chocolates sold by Marshall Field's department store in Chicago, and you can buy it online.
posted by visual mechanic at 8:22 PM on February 3, 2006

Response by poster: I like the Chocolate Iguana, have never tried Choc-a-lot, but was hoping for something more exotic. Plus Choc-a-lot seems to cater to the sugar free audience. And I'd like sugar!

Vosges looks really amazing - so the exotic collection is actually good? Wow. Wasabi, vinegar and anise! I would never think to put those things with chocolate.
posted by mulkey at 8:23 PM on February 3, 2006

Scharffen Berger has fantastic dark chocolate. Also, maybe Jacques Torres?
posted by hooray at 8:37 PM on February 3, 2006

Bernard Callebaut

Jacques Torres Chocolate

La Maison du Chocolat


Moonstruck Fine Chocolate

Sans Souci


Vosges -- I second Joh (above).


Of all of the above ... if asked what I would choose for the desert (or is that dessert?) island, I'd have to choose Teusher's Champagne Truffes
posted by ericb at 8:42 PM on February 3, 2006

i thought this was a good review from last year.

also, seconding scharffen berger dark.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 9:08 PM on February 3, 2006

Oh -- and I also second hooray's choice of Jacques Torres.
posted by ericb at 9:09 PM on February 3, 2006

See if there is a local chocaltier. There's nothing like chocolates that were made today.
posted by ilsa at 9:44 PM on February 3, 2006

Callebaut, Purdy's, Godiva.
posted by acoutu at 9:48 PM on February 3, 2006

Sounds like you need to pick your chocolate, melt it down, and pour it on some ice cream.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:54 PM on February 3, 2006

Response by poster: Man, this all looks wonderful! Thank you!!!
posted by mulkey at 10:03 PM on February 3, 2006

i'd get a few bars of green&blacks.
posted by tnai at 5:16 AM on February 4, 2006

ericb knows his stuff. La Maison du Chocolat is the best I've ever tried, with Teuscher's Champagne Truffles a close second.
posted by fuzz at 6:05 AM on February 4, 2006

Yes, try Vosges!
posted by srah at 6:17 AM on February 4, 2006

L.A. Burdick does it for me. But try to find somebody local; nothing compares to fresh.
posted by fuzzbean at 6:51 AM on February 4, 2006

I also recommend Vosges or Jacques Torres.
posted by poq at 7:04 AM on February 4, 2006

Dilettante chocolates. If you are trying to eschew romance, how about a dark chocolate salmon?
posted by crazycanuck at 7:21 AM on February 4, 2006

For unusual, I just discovered Dolfin chocolate. They do great weird stuff - cumin and Earl Grey and cardamom and lemongrass chocolates. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for surprisingly affordable sampler boxes.
The truth is, the chocolate is very high quality and it's interesting to taste such oddities as milk chocolate with black pepper, and the ones with the chewy bits of ginger are outstanding, but in the end I discovered I'd rather have something more traditional. Or yum, Toblerone.

Also, Torres, it turns out, lives in my building, but did he bring chocolate to the holiday potluck in the lobby? No. No, he didn't. Humph.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:23 AM on February 4, 2006

I have fond memories connected to Neuhaus (online shop--avoid their annoying flash intro).

You're in Arizona, it looks like. Don't forget See's Candies at the mall for somebody more local. They're definitely a step above Whitman's or Fannie Farmer, despite the corny, homespun exterior.

Local la-de-la chocolatier in my area is B. T. McElrath. They can be pretty good, and they offer those bizarro "try me on a dare" chocolates like green tea or zinfandel balsamic vinegar, if that's what you're looking for.
posted by gimonca at 7:28 AM on February 4, 2006

You can get the Dolfin samplers at Whole Foods, speaking of that place and that chocolate.
posted by kcm at 7:33 AM on February 4, 2006

Check out this list of Geneviève Grandbois' chocos.

But a slab of Dolfin's pink peppercorn or fresh ginger dark choco would cure most broken hearts, it's true.
posted by zadcat at 7:55 AM on February 4, 2006

Cocoa Mill. Here you go.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:02 AM on February 4, 2006

Screw Godiva, et. al. You want Valrhona. You will be spoiled forever.
posted by kaseijin at 9:08 AM on February 4, 2006

Valrhona is nice, but if you want to do a real chocolate tasting you have to go to these guys, Pralus.

Single origin beans, premier cru. Buy a stack of 12, a few glasses of different red wine (start with a light red, end up with a tannin-rich Cabernet, or maybe a port) and see how the flavor combos do their thing. Like tasting good wines, cheeses, olives, or meats, this stuff is the ne plus ultra.

With good chocolate, you should know how to taste it, too.
posted by lalochezia at 10:05 AM on February 4, 2006

Lots of excellent recommendations above, and here's yet another: Black Hound's truffles, any variety. A goodly number of my holiday/whatever presents come from BH -- not to mention the too-frequent personal indulgences.

mulkey, how the hell are you going to choose? Please, please post a followup!
posted by vetiver at 12:41 PM on February 4, 2006

Response by poster: Well the good thing about having all of these choices is that I'm sure I'll just HAVE to sample more at a later date. :)

I'd have to say that my favorites (given the votes and the websites) are looking to be Vosges, Jacques Torres and Teusher (those champagne truffles look mighty good - do you think they would come in an assortment?).

Thanks to everyone for the advice!
posted by mulkey at 3:07 PM on February 4, 2006

If you're still reading...another vote for Vosges...also, Valhrona is terrific but Vosges is really unique. They often offer free samples in their stores and sometimes send along an extra candy bar or other treat with shipments. Mmm.
posted by MeetMegan at 5:55 PM on February 4, 2006

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