Yes, it’s almost Valentine’s Day and yes, I am always looking for an excuse to celebrate almost anything with chocolates. This weekend was no exception. When I heard that Erlé Labounty and his wife, Eliza La Rocca of Farmhouse Chocolates* would be sampling chocolates at Woodstock Farmers’ Market, I knew I would be making the drive to meet my new favorite chocolatier. Earlier in the week, I had ordered chocolates from Farmhouse after discovering their Instagram account. When they arrived, I proceeded to make them disappear quickly.
I ordered the Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels and Dark Chocolate Truffles (Espresso Bean and Cacao Nib) and when they were delivered, I was slightly delayed in ripping them open because I was intrigued with their attention to the packaging. Inside an eco-friendly box made of unbleached recycled paperboard, the candies were wrapped in compostable cellophane (no idea there was such a thing, btw) with a statement inside that read:
And, all chocolates are made with organic and fair trade practices in mind.
After my very brief distraction by the thoughtful and effective product marketing, I proceeded to indulge in the real reason I had these artisan chocolates sent to me- my daily chocolate craving needed taming. And, I can assure you that I was not disappointed. The truffles simply melted in my mouth. I am picky about my truffles. I have found others to be too dry, or too soft inside, or too tasteless, or too sweet, or too waxy- or, simply just unremarkable. Apparently, Erlé found his perfect profession 18 years ago when, after culinary school and working as a pastry chef in several locations, he decided to make his way back to Vermont where he grew up and concentrate on his passion: making truffles. It was a wise choice judging from both the truffles and the yummy salted caramels.
Erlé also made another smart decision- teaming up with his wife, Eliza, who is the marketing smarts behind the business. She has a flare for design and a eco-consciousness to go along with it. Another good pairing.
So if you are looking for a real treat to give or share this Valentine’s Day, or you simply want to satisfy your own chocolate craving, let me assure you that these artisan chocolates will not disappoint. In fact, they set a high bar for any chocolates in your future. I say it’s winter. It’s dreary. Indulge yourself and your sweetheart. Go ahead. Order up!
*Yes, I know technically it’s Farmhouse Chocolates + Ice Cream, but it’s way to cold for me to care about the ice cream part. And, besides, they don’t make it during the winter.