I have a friend whose husband, year after year on Valentine’s Day, goes down to the local Duane Reade and gets her the Whitman’s sampler box of chocolates. You know these chocolates. They are the ones that seems stocked to the gills with what looks like pepto bismol colored “truffles”. The one that forces you to take minuscule bites out of the bottom of each one in the vain hope you will find a chocolate covered caramel. My friend never even bothers to open the box. He thinks she loves it. It is one of those quandries of the long relationship – “do you know me at all?” she wonders, while he muses, “good thing I got one before they sold out! She so looks forward to this.” Now, any gesture on Valentine’s Day is appreciated, but I think this year I am going to pull him aside and tell him he needs to take the subway downtown and get his wife a real box of chocolates at Jacques Torres.
Jacques Torres is a fabulous chocolate maker. His hot chocolate is like, well, hot chocolate – not cocoa powder mixed with water or milk. It is simply thick, melted, decadent chocolate that comes in varying flavors like Mexican hot chocolate (with a bit of spice), peanut butter, orange, white chai, mocha chocolate….the list goes on and changes quite often.
He has dozens of freshly made truffles and other chocolate treats – any one of which would satisfy a sweet craving for a long time (and would never inspire someone to nibble the bottom first).
For those who like to cook at home, I really love that he sells his chocolates in those little discs, called pistoles, making it easy to measure chocolate for a sauce without having to chop up a bar. I use the 60% bittersweet chocolate to make hot chocolate for the kiddos (well, for me too) and the 70% to make some really big and delicious chocolate chip cookies (I also eat more than my fair share of those as well).
And yes, you can order some of his products online, but this place is the perfect reason to book those tickets to New York immediately and experience this shop in person, which is so much sweeter than opening a box in your house. Promise.
Where it is and Why I’ll Miss It: There are several locations now with more planned in the future: look at http://www.mrchocolate.com for updates, but for now you can find him in Dumbo (Brooklyn), SoHo, Rockefeller Center and the Upper West Side; delicious chocolate in so many forms.