For all the good that there is about this little city I live in, I often struggle with the fact that it is not NYC. There are so many foods and food experiences that I miss from living in New York, the bodegas, grocery stores, sweet shops, noodle shops, chinatown, cutting edge restaurants, there is no end to it. I have come to appreciate the other wonderful food experiences I get living in a smaller city that I couldn't have when I lived trapped in the concrete jungle; like leaving my house and 20 minutes later standing in an orchard picking peaches or raspberries. It is however unfathomable to me that I live in a city that doesn't have a great chocolate store. Which is why today's fabulous food find has me flying high.
There is a woman living only a few miles from me, Susan Davis, also a former NYC chef and mom, who is crafting beautiful, delicious, handmade, preservative-free fine chocolates. Pont Neuf Chocolates is a tiny operation selling at 2 local stores (Chestnut Fine Foods & Whitneyville Food Center) and online: www.pontneufchocolates.com
Her selection leans heavily to the dark side (my favorites!) and flavors include passion fruit caramel, cardamom lemon, rosemary and hazelnut praline. Simple delicious ingredients, and amazing chocolate. My grandmother who is a chocolate connoisseur declared that they are the best chocolates she has ever had, and I would agree that these are up there among the best. It doesn't hurt that they are made in small fresh batches. These make a great Valentines gift, I've already started nibbling on mine.