Though chocolate may always be a bit of a luxury, a little of the best quality chocolate goes a long way, whether you prefer yours in the form of a single origin bar, enrobing a nugget of salty caramel, or studded with dried fruit. Below are three of the most decadent Philly chocolatiers to help you splurge on something to truly satisfy your sweet tooth.
Marcie Blaine – Smack the middle of her restaurant empire, at the back of her trendy boutique, Verde, Chef Marcie Turney also, somehow, makes chocolates. Turney is the chef-owner of Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Bud & Marilyn’s, Little Nonna’s, and Lolita, and the global flavors of her restaurants find their way into her chocolates. The “Hot Lolita” is a delicate square spiked with cinnamon, ancho chile, and almond. Blood orange and olive oil nods to the flavors of Spain, the “French Farmer” matches chocolate with elderflower and champagne, and the “Soft Pretzel,” filled with peanut butter and pretzel ganache, tips its hat to a Philly favorite.
John & Kira’s – Philly’s original locally-focused chocolate makers, John Doyle and Kira Baker got their start in 1999 making squares of ganache infused with mint grown in school gardens, local honey and lavender, and precious Lancaster County-grown fruit. Now, their best sellers also include dried figs stuffed with whiskey chocolate ganache, and chocolate bees filled with runny basswood honey caramel. Even though they’ve been a huge success you can still find their wares available for sale at several area farmer’s markets.
Tradestone – Just outside Philadelphia, in Conshohocken, chocolatier Fredrick Ortega in partnership with Chef Chip Roman (of Blackfish, Mica, and Ela) cranks out assortments of single-origin chocolate bars and elegantly formed bonbons. Think of a Whitman’s sampler if it’s contents looked like sophisticated, modern jewels and had flavors like rum raisin, maple passionfruit, anise, and honey almond. Though Ortega has a chef’s attention to detail, he also crafts sophisticated versions of playful confections: salted caramel and pecan stuffed turtles, and chocolate bark coated in crushed pretzels or dried fruit.