I love chocolate of all sorts. I will eat chocolate anytime, its familiar and comforting in a nostalgic way. I love that first bite into a handmade chocolate that makes my mouth want to do a jig, or the soothing way chocolate melts at body temperature. I am convinced that chocolate would solve most problems and that nothing else calms most ills. I have been lucky enough to test this theory time and again in all situations and at all times. I love it.
I periodically get the opportunity to eat chocolate like this, decadent dark chocolate with additions that make me swoon and one weekend day I had an opportunity like that. On the afternoon of July 30th I was given the fantastic opportunity to sit down with the totally charming Valerie, owner and chief candy-maker-extrordinaire of Vianne Chocolates. Vianne Chocolates is one of the specialty vendors at last year’s Boston Local Food Festival and then I only briefly met her as I showed her to her booth. As I sat down to interview Valerie she gave me a marvelous linen bag full of goodies!
I immediately fell in love with the sketch on the bag and all of the packaging. Made by a South End artist these little sketches are a fun and creative way for Valerie to show her local love, and does she have local love. This girl hails from the wilds of New York and tries as hard as possible to incorporate local produce, jams, herbs, whatever into her chocolates. From using Kate’s of Maine butter (yay, totally rocking the Maine pride) to using mint she grew herself (!) and sourcing her more obscure spices from Christina’s Spices in Inman Square, Valerie is all about keeping as much as possible local and sustainable!
I also love when companies and businesses choose pet charities that they are passionate about, this is especially true with Vianne and the Pug Bars. These pug bars, aside from being insanely cute, are for a GREAT cause. Of every bar that is sold Valerie donates 25 cents to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, how great is that? So not only does Vianne source as much as possible locally, they support a local charity too! And if saving animals doesn’t lessen the guilt of eating this fantastic chocolate than nothing will.
Now, then onto the best part. Let’s talk about the chocolate. As I sit here eating the beautiful pieces of candy that were to lovingly stashed in my snazzy bag I am abuzz with excitement. My first chocolate is the Strawberry Balsamic (one of Valerie’s favorites), with it’s creamy white chocolate center, rich dark chocolate coating and generous sprinkle of strawberry dust I am in heaven, glowing with the thrill of perfect chocolate that only enhances the flavor of strawberries with each savored bite. Chocolate number two is the Green Fairy, an entirely different chocolate than the strawberry balsamic but still totally swoon worthy and, by far, my favorite. The green fairy is, as the history of it’s name would suggest, an Absinthe spiked truffle that is one of those tongue-dancing-a-jig sort of chocolates. The crisp chocolate shell followed by the spicy and herbal ganache is a totally mesmerizing experience. I could sit here and give you a play by play of all the chocolates that were bestowed on me but instead I will encourage you to come to the Boston Local Food Festival on October 1st and try them yourself. And if you see me around grab me a green fairy
I wrote this post for the Boston Local Food Festival blog back in the fall, however if you are struggling for a some good Christmas gifts Vianne Chocolates will definitely fit the bill of that person with a sweet tooth.
*All photos in this post are courtesy of www.viannechocolat.com.