Let’s just forget Halloween is this weekend, shall we? Yeah, yeah, we get it: candy corn, bite-sized candies and sexy witches/maids/Snookis abound. Halloween is hard to ignore; in fact, lesser known holidays get the shaft as a result. For instance, how many of you out there know that today, Oct. 28, is National Chocolate Day?
Just one of 27 (!!!) chocolate-themed National Holidays (who decides these, anyway?), National Chocolate Day is overlooked, probably because it doesn’t involve a meat dress or cleavage-y costumes. But still, why not celebrate it? Chocolate is better than most hard-candy, anyway. Enough talking, more chocolate. The following cities have some fantastic chocolatiers worth checking out:
Chicago: First, some hometown pride: Vosges Haut-Chocolat was started here (and was previously reviewed). Traversing cultures and flavors, owner and chocolatier Katrina Markoff concocts mind-bendingly good chocolate. From coconut-curry truffles to a Bob Marley-inspired collection, Markoff keeps throwing delicious curve-balls to foodies and chocolate lovers everywhere. Vosges is not the only chocolate game in town, though; walk through the Loop at night and you’ll probably catch a whiff of the good stuff being produced from Blommer’s Chocolate Company.
Los Angeles: Check out West Coast heavy-hitter Compartes Chocolatier. This Brentwood chocolate boutique is run by 24-year old owner, Jonathan Grahm, who took over the family business at a mere 15 years old. Basing his craft on European chocolate traditions, Grahm has made a name for himself as a supplier of natural, handmade chocolates to the stars, as cheesy as that sounds. Utilizing ingredients like sea salt, saffron and olive oil, Grahm and his signature chocolates have made him a celebrity amongst gourmands.
New York City: NYC is without a doubt Foodie Paradise. Home to some of the country’s best chefs, NYC can also claim Mast Brothers Chocolate. Rick and Michael Mast personally handcraft every chocolate they produce in their Williamsburg “factory.” Sourcing beans from small farms from Venezuela, Ecuador, Madagascar, amongst other far-flung locales, these brothers strive to usher in a new chocolate tradition, one in which the flavors of their chocolate evoke the farms of their origin.
And no, we didn’t forget Philly and Hershey’s; we just thought we’d go a different route, mostly because of this. So readers, have any other chocolate favorites you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!