Delving into Neuhaus Chocolate

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A few weeks ago I talked to you about Richart chocolates and how much fun I had tasting them with some friends.

Well, since then I felt it my moral duty to continue tasting these designer chocolates to see what all the fuss is about. Of course, it hasn’t been on my mind at all times, but one day, when we were headed to the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci,” we passed by a store and I saw some delicious-looking chocolates in the window. Then I looked up. Neuhaus Chocolatier. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Neuhaus Box

The Milan boutique is the only completely dedicated Neuhaus store in Italy, and only a few metro stops away. We’re in trouble. The best part about it was that we got to pick every chocolate that went into our little box. The woman working there was very patient as we drooled and clapped our hands with glee.

Inside the Neuhaus Box

Did you know it’s their 150th anniversary? Can you make chocolate that long? Jean Neuhaus, a Swiss immigrant to Belgium (hmm, yummy chocolate mashup) invented the first filled chocolate! This man is a god.

And to be honest, that’s something I noticed immediately about their chocolates. Richart’s were designed to beat us into submission about the quality and superior flavor of the chocolate itself. You could not deny that it was great chocolate, and it definitely dared you to utter something against it, but it felt a little like Fashion Week where you praised the innovation of a gauze cashmere dress. Sure it’s beautiful, but would you ever wear it?

Neuhaus chocolate are not layman’s chocolates by any stretch, but they will have you robbing a bank to get a hold of them. After you finish the box, instead of saying, “Those were good,” your eyes are glazed over and images of chocolates are superimposed over every shadowy object in the house. You might even eye the box for crumbs or give the malocchio to your companion because you are sure they had more than their chocolate share.

It’s really interesting to taste basil and thyme in chocolate, but it’s a whole other thing to have a chocolate cappuccino or salty caramel. Drool. Of course, we picked the pieces that were most interesting to us, so we were already predisposed to like the flavor combinations.

Neuhaus Chocolates

Check out their site, as there’s even a “Personal Taste” test that they will suggest some unique chocolates for you based on how you answer a few questions. It’s worth a try and you can always blame it on the computer (“the computer made me buy them”). They have stores and shop corners all around the world (SF Macy’s, baby!) so I’m sure you can find your fix somewhere. I most recently saw them in the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, but I resisted, knowing I’m only a few metro stops away at any time!

Neuhaus Chocolatier – International website: www.neuhauschocolate.com
Via San Vittore, 6 – Milano – 02 72 00 00 96 (http://www.neuhaus-cioccolato.it/ in Italian)

Comments

  1. says

    Neuhaus is my absolute favortie and worth every cent too!

    And I haven’t got a Neuhaus shop anywhere near me.

    Do you think I can plan a vacation based around where I might find Neuhaus chocolate?

  2. says

    Belgian chocolate, like Danish, is too fat and I’m not worried about the diet ;-) I mean the add too butter and they generally use milk chocolate. My final sensation is always to have the mouth full of butter.
    French chocolate is more respectfull of the raw material and more gentle. I mean… when you eat a Richart masterpiece you feel che chocolate, the creamy fill and all the nice spices or flowers or fruits that they put inside. The end is clean :-)
    Ciao. Nicola

  3. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    KC, you’re right it’s probably better you’re not near. I’ve been staying away for now.
    GL, I think you could definitely do a vacation based on chocolate. :) Sounds fun!
    Nicola, I know there are definite debates about this – it’s two totally different experiences! I also think it’s based on what you’re used to – nuts and caramels were big staples and maybe given as much attention as the chocolate, but I’m also eating much more dark chocolate than before. I will try the Richart mix chocolates next time, since I had the single herb-infusion flavors this past time. :)

  4. lieludalis says

    Perhaps my blog should be Photographs&Butter&Chocolate! Gaahhhh!
    I’m staying away from Richart, as I realized that there was a shop in Boston down the street from where I worked…but I think I WILL have to visit Neuhaus! And really… your descriptions are tempting enough with out the incredible photographs to add to the chocolate lust!!

  5. says

    Nice pics! If you are ever in Brussels, try Pierre Marcolini for what IMHO is the best Belgian chocolate. And even though it is really not a bonbon atelier, in Paris, it is the chocolates at Pierre Hermé that are truly sublime. (Or maybe I’m just partial to chocolatiers named Pierre?)

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