It’s no secret to anyone who has spent time near me that I am a chocolate fiend. I’ll grab the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar just as easily as I will reach for the high-end and well made chocolates. That’s not to say I’m not discerning – I am, my ideal chocolate is dark with nuts in it (but not too many) and has a high cocoa butter content, but if my ideal isn’t available (which sometimes happens) I’ll reach for that Hershey bar without thinking twice. Luckily for me I recently had the chance to eat some high quality chocolate and watch it made from scratch right in Salem, MA by Harbor Sweets Chocolates.
Harbor Sweets is a totally enchanting chocolate shop that makes an effort to make chocolates by hand with care. When Harbor Sweets invited the Boston Bloggers over for a tour and tasting I was not expecting what I got. We were greeted at the door by a large tray of chocolates with all of the chocolates that Harbor had to offer, I chose a Sweet Sloop (Harbor Sweet’s signature chocolate). As Megan chose her chocolate I wandered a bit of the shop which actually looks out over the area of Harbor Sweets where the Sweet Sloops are made!
HS makes chocolates by hand, from the copper kettles that they cook the almond butter crunch for the Sweet Sloops to the people standing on the line to add the line to the sails of the sloop everything is given careful attention. Watching everyone work there was a wonderful experience and made me want to eat more of their chocolate. I loved knowing just how much effort and though went into a single one of my chocolates.
Now, the chocolates – they were fantastic (far and away greater than any Hershey bar, I assure you). I don’t much care for white chocolate but the Sweet Sloop – a triangle of almond butter crunch covered in white chocolate with a base dipped in dark chocolate and crushed pecans is, without a doubt, one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in quite a while.
As our tour guide brought us around the workshop I felt spoiled and indulgent, the rich chocolate scents everywhere were magnificent. We (Megan, Kevin, and I) saw everything from start to finish, from tempered chocolate, to filled molds, to the cooling room. There was the giant perfectly scored table where THOUSANDS of sweet sloops had been cut and those copper kettles. There were entire rooms where people hand fed chocolates onto conveyor belts and wrapped candies. I was enchanted and wanted to live in this Willy Wonka-esque wonderland of chocolate.
I left Harbor Sweets full of chocolate and with a goodie bag to boot. I will definitely be back to this New England gem to get more of their wonderful chocolate. And you should totally go check them out too! They’re on twitter and offer full (and insured) shipping of all of their chocolates from their online storefront. Go on, give them a try and yes they do ship internationally, in case you were curious.
My tour of Harbor Sweets was complementary but, as always, my opinions are my own.