The Chocolate Review
Picture: The Chokilait maestro in Melbourne
Heres a round-up of my favorite chocolate destinations! I certainly do not lack for distractions... The Chambourcin truffles we made at the New York Culinary Center were quite yum. And then I stumbled upon Vosges Chocolate Bars at Parkleigh. As if living within walking distance of Stever's is not enough temptation! I've held myself back with excruciating restraint. Happily, I surrended to temptation at Phillips European and Goodness Cakes on University Ave. And who can resist the miniature Opera Torte at the Little Bakery. Sigh.
What better way to sweat off those pounds than to sign up for a Chocaholics Historical Walking tour!! Suzie Wharton leads tours in Melbourne and shows off the city's gorgeous arcades. We paused for sustenance at 4 specialty chocolatiers in 2 hours. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
We started in Royal Arcade, at Haigh's Chocolates. Much ooh-ing and aah-ing over Haigh's creations. We trotted out to Deva, a specialty gift store. They had the most exquisite designs I've ever seen on handmade chocolates. Deva was a hard act to follow but Chokolait held its own. Tucked away in one of the rare calm nooks in the middle of Melbourne's shopping epicentre, Chokolait is where one goes to revive one's spirits. Their iced dark chocolate drink was perfection. With a spring in our step, we walked to Koko Black's. Really, we should refer to this as the Koko Black's chocolate temple. Their menu reads like a wish list and I could happily stand by their store all day, nose pressed to the glass, watching their chocolatiers work their magic. But I digress. We sampled their classic Belgian truffle. My worldly cares slipped away. I progressed into a higher state of consiousness.
Last, but not the least, my fondest chocolate memory is Soma in Toronto. We strolled into the shop plus kitchen one rainy summer afternoon. The Mayan Hot Chocolate piqued our interest... a combination of chocolate and Australian ginger, Madagascar Vanilla, orange peel, chili and SOMA spices! It was rich and sumptous, majestic and completely entrancing. It exceeded our wildest expectations. 'twas the high point of an incredibly good year ;-)