A Serious Foodie Guide to Unique Holiday Gifts: Chocolates
Some might argue over which country makes the best chocolate, but there is no argument over the quality and the service from Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus. Go to their website, take a look at their video, then order for you and your significant other. Other Belgian chocolates you might want to try are Leonidas and Planete Chocolat.
It’s not surprising that the best Italian chocolates come from the areas that border the French and the Swiss, primarily in the Piedmont region. There are a number of popular brands, including Perugina (their Baci can be found everywhere now), Pernigotti, and Ferraro, and all can be found at Amazon.com. Check out the amazing Venchi chocolates at Worldwide Chocolates.
French chocolates are decadent in both flavor and price, but well worth the splurge. We were first introduced to La Maison du Chocolat in their small NYC store, and they remain our favorite French chocolate. You can go to their website for an outstanding mail-order experience. We also found the rare and highly-regarded Michel Cluizel chocoaltes at the iGourmet.com website.
USA Artisan Chocolates
One of the best places in the country to investigate small batch artisan chocolates is New York City. There are so many great choices – Jacques Torres, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and MarieBelle’s – which will all do mail order. Another great resource is the article on the Epicurious.com website which surveys a number of artisan chocolatiers across the county. Our favorite small batch producer is Norman Love in Fort Myers, FL. Their chocolates are almost too beautiful to consume – but they are amazing when you take a bit. They are worthy of the praise they get from a lot of chocolate fans – www.normanloveconfections.com.