Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chocolate Road Trip: Burdick Chocolates

One of the women in my Super Secret Writers' Group is such a font of information when it comes to where to find things, particularly if you're looking for something strange (tentacle porn--don't even ask); unique (egg poaching pods); or just really cool. So when I told her that Mr. Goodbar and I were going to Vermont this past weekend, she said we had to drive over the border into Walpole, New Hampshire to go to L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates. She didn't have to tell me twice.

Saturday morning, we stuffed ourselves into the car after a delightful breakfast and made our way south. (I'll skip the part where Mr. Goodbar decided to drive OVER the mountain in mud season, instead of around.)

In any case, let's get right to it. You can get all the FAQs at the website; here's what you need to know from me. This is a tiny jewelbox of a store with incredible hand-made, European-style chocolates. Their signature chocolates are these:Chocolate mice! They also make penguins and, for Easter, bunnies. How can you resist?According to the brochure, each bonbon is hand-piped or hand-cut, using no molds. In addition, the pieces are "miniature in the European fashion, providing the ideal portion to enjoy a complex, intense chocolate flavor."

I love that the pieces are so small. (Contrast this with the Kohler chocolates, where each one was big enough to feed Octomom's family for a week. Not that I'm complaining about the size of those; I like big chocolates just as much as little ones.)

The selections range from exotic to ... more exotic. Some examples: Pistache (White chocolate ganache with pistachios, lavender and herbes de Provence); Honey Caramel Truffle (Caramelized honey with herbs and vanilla, dusted in cocoa powder); Lemon Spice (A whipped rum & lemon ganache, enrobed in milk chocolate and topped with grated Trinidadian spices). You get the idea. Traditionally I'm not much for these "fancified" chocolates; I prefer to stick with nuts, caramel and creams, but these looked so good, I had to get some. I was starting to get a touch of ADD in the store, what with all the bonbons, mice, Easter bunnies and drink mixes. I wasn't sure what to choose.

No-Nuts, on the other hand, was just looking for something that wasn't nutrageous. She decided upon a Jaffa (Dark chocolate ganache, whipped with freshly squeezed orange juice). In the end, I decided upon an 18-piece sampler with one mouse, and a beautiful stick of nougat (picture forthcoming). I must say, though, this shizz is expensive-- over $50 a pound. But since Mr. Goodbar treated himself to a book ("Country Wisdom Know-How"), I figured I could splurge on some chocolates and add a little European class to his hill-billy ways.
The chocolates I've had so far have been delicious. I'm saving the mouse for last.
P.S. There is a bistro attached to the shop with delicious looking cheeses and desserts, but we were still too full from breakfast to partake. Next time.

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