Though many people consider Valentine’s Day just another
marketing scheme to make Americans spend money, I’ll be the first to admit that
I am a sucker for a heart-shaped box of chocolates. And if I’m going to go
there, I might as well go all the way and indulge my wallet and my taste buds with
Vosges Haut-Chocolat collections.
When I discovered this Chicago-based chocolatier three years
ago at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco,
it was love at first sight. Not only is the packaging gorgeous, but the flavors
are so unique and adventurous that I wanted to try them all. Who would have
sweet Hungarian paprika or rose water could make quality dark chocolate taste
And with every new flavor combination, Vosges
continues to trump itself. This year, the Sweet Coquette Collection, “a dossier
of aphrodisiac truffles and folklore,” is something worth trying at least once.
With truffles like Absinthe made with
Chinese star anise, fennel, pastis and dark chocolate, this Victorian-inspired
set will have your palette working outside of the box. My favorite is the Edith – Piper Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Champagne, crushed
rosebud tea and dark chocolate. If you really want to get outside of your comfort zone, try the Kumamoto – pearl
dust and Kumamoto
oysters with white chocolate. You can taste a combination of salty and sweet
with a subtle hint of the oyster towards the finish.
Gatsby and Daisy collection, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” also makes a great Valentine's Day gift. The Rosé and Brut Cuvée truffles hinted with rose petals are divine
but the packaging is also a fun gift idea. Each box comes with inscribed notes
from the lovers and a magnifying glass to read the letters and inspect the
intricate details of the truffles. The whole set is thoughtful, delicious and a
wonderful compliment to champagne.
Although the truffle collections are nice to try on their
own or with wines, they can be on the pricey side. More reasonable favorites
would be the exotic candy bar collections or candy bar libraries. I’ve tried
them all but my top three would be the Naga,
Barcelona and Red
Fire bars. One of the most popular is the Mo’s Bacon bar which sounds scary but is a great combination of savory
bacon and sweet chocolate with a great crunch throughout.
If you want to impress your sweetheart or get a wonderful treat for yourself, these chocolates are worth it!
We gave samples to our editors at MyRecipes.com and this is
what they said.
On Mo’s Bacon Bar
– “What we love about chocolate covered pretzels, but subtler.
Love the salty hint and the surprising crunch. I could eat a pound of this.”
– “I was very skeptical at first, but you could only barely
taste the bacon and it did add a slight saltiness to the chocolate, which was
good. Love that salty-sweet combo.”
– “Cool, sweet/salty flavor. The bacon doesn’t overpower the
On The Gatsby
– “This is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted! Dark chocolate
AND champagne in one dessert? I can die a happy woman!”
– “On the first bite, it tastes like I’m eating a flower but
it has a good aftertaste. It is very rich. It’s good after you get over that
first zap to your taste buds – no pun intended.”
– "Absolutely got the taste of the dryness of the Brut that matched perfectly with
the soft velvet of the rose and dark chocolate. Champagne, roses and chocolate? Can’t think of
a better match!"
On The Daisy:
– “I like the texture and the flavor of the middle white
chocolate – a little bit too flowery on the outside but great white chocolate
Want more ideas for Chocolate?
Here are some suggestions: