Some chocolates in New York…

Hah! New York! Millions and trillions of expectations, clichés, high hopes. To disappoint you right away: I was there only a couple of days. So this is nothing more than a glimpse of a few things I found during my random walk through Manhattan and Brooklyn. If you want a more thorough overview on New York chocolates and chocolate shops, others have already done a great job1.
Anyway, I still want to add my half-baked opinions and impressions. I keep most of it short, though. Promised.

There are mmmmany many chocolate stores in NYC. I walked by quite a lot, and tried stuff in many of them. Not in all, though, because some really bored me. Standard looking truffles with standard flavor in a boring looking shop? Forget it, I’ll find that in probably any European city by the dozen2.
Unfortunately, however, I spend far too little time in most places, and ate faaar too few of their chocolates to really be able to give you honest reviews. Just so much. You can find plenty of nice-looking chocolate places in both Manhatten and Brooklyn. There were also quite many of them, that I honestly didn’t like so much at first sight, because they presented their sweets in a snobby kind of upper-classy style. I personally just don’t like that. I reminds me of those wine shops where the vendors manage to fill 80% of their phrases with real and fake-french gastronomical buzzwords3.  And then you’ll also find quite a large number of (too-)well-designed stores that immediately feel like being in a store of a larger chain with optimized production cycles but lack of individuality (such as “Godiva”). That’s always a bit sad and utterly boring…

Back to the good stuff.
Snobby or not, many places sell delicioius high-quality chocolates. I liked those from Li-Lac, or Sugar and Plumm4 (I really liked the “Mexique”, a dark chocolate coated dark chocolate ganache made with 72% chocolate from Mexico. Very pleasant, fruity, chocolate flavors. Great.).
Then there was Chocolate moderne5, and Kee’s. At Kee’s for instance I really liked the “Thai Chili”, dark chocolate ganache with infused chili. It had a very pleasant chili flavor that mixed extremely well with the dark chocolate and appears very harmonic. Oh, and I also liked their “Lemon Basil”, white chocolate ganach with Lemon and Basil covered by dark chocolate. Nicely balanced and fruity!
Yapp, right, and there are many more I didn’t see or mention or even know about. This has to wait till my next trip to NYC…

What do we have so far? A lot of decent to excellent chocolatiers that know how to make good chocolates. But OK, it’s somehow not such a big surprise that you’ll find that in NYC. I will try to hunt for more freaky, experimental, or otherwise unusual stuff the next time. What I knew about beforehand, however, was the Brooklyn-based chocolate manufacturer Mast Brothers…

  1. See for instance Professor Chocolate []
  2. Nothing wrong with a solidly made classic, but really, that’s nothing I am looking for when looking out for interesting or even exciting stuff… []
  3. Maybe even worse, most of those buzzwords are practically content-free and tell you nothing at all. This doesn’t keep those vendors from using these words as if it would show a superior secret knowledge. []
  4. Manufactured in New Jersey, but sold in two stores in NYC (Upper West Side and West Village).  They sell some nice chocolate bars, too. []
  5. They also have great (and great-looking) Avant-garde bars. []

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