If there’s one thing to get about Chocolatier Blue (and therefore, my obsession with it) is that each finely crafted morsel is NOT what we widely call candy. Snickers bars, Skittles, Kisses, etc. they’re one thing. Chocolatier Blue is entirely another.
Calling a jewel-like Chocolatier Blue a piece of candy does a great disservice to the Italian Domori chocolate shells (no one else in the world is using this chocolate to create filled chocolates), made-from-scratch fillings and finishes (if it says raspberry, it’s actually made with raspberries, not some neon-glo industrial goo approximation – how ‘bout that?), and unbelievably fashioned flavors.
Chocolatier Blue stands in the realm of fine chocolate bars – good ingredients, expert technique, and amazing taste. If you’re gonna call it candy, you might as well be slapping Christopher Blue, the genius behind each piece, in the face (be advised, though, he might slap you back).
And after tasting any of his flavors, you just might slap yourself in the face. In a good way. Case in point: the new seasonal summer flavors. In addition to the classic Palet d’Or (sublime dark chocolate), addictive Hazelnut, and the fine chocolate world’s answer to sour candy, Passion Fruit Caramel, the new roster features comforting, American classics like Root Beer Float, Banana Split, and S’Mores.
For the latter, Blue makes his own fresh vanilla marshmallows and layers it with cherry wood-smoked graham crackers to evoke that campfire feeling. The layering is present too in the Banana Split with caramelized namesake fruit, Madagascar vanilla beans, and fresh cherries. Then there’s PB Crunch – basically a handcrafted Butterfinger with ground homemade peanut brittle. Candy like flavors, only without the industrial crap.
Libation lovers, take note. The Mojito is limey, minty, and almost better than the cocktail after a mid-summer’s night dinner. Purists can revel in the summer fruity line-up, particularly the bright and punchy Raspberry featuring a note of boozy framboise liqueur and Cherries Jubilee (made withUtahsour cherries, it’s what cherry cordials dream of being). The biggest surprise was the Blueberry – a normally demure fruit relegated to fruit cups and anonymous muffins, in Chocolatier Blue form it’s the most vibrant incarnation, putting chocolate covered blueberries momentos inMainegift shops to shame.
Admittedly, I love them all. For the sake of chocolate research – I LOVE chocolate research – I’m partial to the skill and quality. I’ve heard some folks say choosing one is like singling out a favorite child. They couldn’t do it. But I can. World, meet my two new favorite Chocolatier Blues – Coconut and Vanilla Rum. Vanilla Rum is simple and wildly delicious (yes, vanilla can be wild) with the rum dovetailing into this often ubiquitous flavor. Roasted coconut is Blue’s answer to a Mounds Bar only the coconut actually tastes like coconut and the chocolate is actually chocolate.
So there you go – familiar, even candy and confection-inspired. Summer is an exciting time to try Chocolatier Blue. If you still can’t wrap your head around NOT calling it candy, just think of it candy for grown-ups with exceptional taste. Yourself included.
Vanessa Chang is a Caputo’s Market alum, Chocolate freak, and food nerd. Follow her on Twitter (@VNess) and on her blog SheCraves.