Dark and Delicious

Artisan chocolatiers and local confectioneries have delicious sweet nothings in store for Valentine’s Day.

By Anna Roth January 24, 2009 Published in the February 2009 issue of Seattle Met

Take your pick: Be a matchmaker at Fran’s Chocolates.

Love at First Bite
It’s hard to think about chocolate in Seattle without thinking of Fran’s Chocolates and Fran Bigelow’s nationally renowned empire of truffles, hot chocolate, and salted caramels—especially with her new outpost in the downtown Four Seasons Hotel. While sophisticated seducers might consider tiny grillotine cherries soaked in Kirsch brandy and inserted into cocoa-dusted dark chocolate truffles, there’s a certain classic charm to Fran’s red satin, heart-shaped chocolate boxes, pre- or custom-packed with an assortment of famous bites. Fran’s Chocolates

Coming Up Roses
Chocolopolis founder Lauren Adler does for chocolate what the best local roasters and wine cellars do for coffee and wine: separate selections by country so that you can sample the world. After your tour, mix and match clichés with a bouquet of single-origin, rose-shaped dark chocolate lollipops and a dozen hand-dipped, long-stemmed chocolate strawberries. For a more straightforward sweet—or semisweet—try hard-to-find bars from legendary chocolatiers like E. Guittard and Michel Cluizel. Chocolopolis


Let’s Get It On
Cacao has long been recognized as a bean that helps get folks in the romantic mood (if you know what we mean). Paired with similarly inclined foods, it could have fast and furious results. Enter the Aphrodisiac Pack at Theo Chocolate, which includes 18 dark chocolate confections flavored with lusty spices like cinnamon and the romantic pungency of rose. If friendship is more your speed, go for innocuous flavors like jasmine, Earl Grey, and peanut butter. Theo Chocolate


Family Affair
He likes pastels and bubbly; she can definitely stand the heat. He’ll get Oh! Chocolate’s pink champagne truffles, a Valentine’s Day exclusive with an impossibly rich, champagne-infused dark chocolate center. The hottie’ll have a Hot Heart—Oh!’s gingerbread cookie, coated with dark chocolate and topped with candied ginger. Husband-and-wife team Carl and Gertie Krautheim started their mini confectionery chain more than 40 years ago and passed on their chocolate-making talents and traditions to their children and grandchildren. Oh! Chocolate


Farmers Market
Claudio Corallo is hard to get hold of; he farms his own cacao beans on a tiny sustainable island plantation in West Africa. Lucky for us, his exquisite bars, packaged in groups of three in hip coffee bags, are on offer at his first Stateside shop on Market Street. Score points for originality by treating your significant other to whole roasted beans—sourced from Corallo’s own chocolate farm, naturally. Just ask for a tutorial on how to eat the dark beauties, and then get ready to demonstrate for your sweetie. Claudio Corallo

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