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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!
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.
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.
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!