Thursday, June 18, 2009

Where Can We Buy Premium Chocolate Bars in HoCo or Baltimore?

What stores around Howard County or Baltimore have the best selection of high end chocolate bars?

Frank Hecker, a mainstay on the HoCo Blogs scene, emailed me about finding speciality or unusual chocolates.  Like Frank, I'm a fan of really good chocolate bars.  They're small luxuries -- costing just a few dollars even if they're triple the cost of a Hershey's.  Frank writes:
I sometimes check out the list of top-rated chocolate bars reviewed at Seventy Perfect, and I've tried a couple of them, most notably the Michel Cluizel bars; they really are quite nice, definitely a cut above your typical "premium" bar (e.g., Ghirardelli, Green and Black's, etc.) and not much more expensive. I suspect the same is true for the other highly-rated bars I haven't had a chance to taste.

However the closest place I've found to get Michel Cluizel is Balducci's in Bethesda, and even they have a limited selection. I have no idea if anyone in Howard County carries these, but I'd really be interesting in knowing. High-end chocolate bars are a real bargain treat as far as I'm concerned, because a $5 or $6 bar will last me several days eating a piece or two at a time. It would be nice if some local business catered to my tastes, which I suspect might be shared
by others.
Can anyone suggest a good place to shop around Ellicott City or Baltimore?  Does Roots or any of the organic markets offer the good stuff?  As I remember, Produce Galore had shelves of chocolate, but they are regrettably a part of Columbia's history.  Is there a gift store or a coffee shop that filled the hap?

8 comments:

Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

Roots Markets (Olney & Clarksville) carry TAZA Chocolate from Somerville, MA. Fantastic stone ground, direct trade handmade craft chocolate made from 100% organic and sustainable ingredients (cacao from the Dominican Republic, sugar from Brazil and cinnamon and vanilla from Costa Rica.). I enjoy the 80% but they also make 60 & 70% and their Chocolate Mexicano line that includes cinnamon, salted almond, vanilla bean and one made with guajillo chili that is sweet and HOT. A little on the pricey side but well worth it.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Ma Petite Shoe, a boutique in Hampden, carries a variety of gourmet chocolate bars--I love ChocoLove's chocolate with sugared ginger root.....

But seriously, most Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and even Target stores carry a good variety of delicious bars. Or are we looking for the one store that stocks 1,000 different chocolate bars like The Perfect Pour, Wells, and Wine Source carry 500+ beers?

Anonymous said...

I.M. Wine in Maplelawn carries some awesome high end chocolate with "bacon" - sounds weird but it's delicious! They have other flavors as well!

hecker said...

A "store that stocks 1,000 different chocolate bars" would be interesting, but not essential. I would settle for a store that stocks a complete line of Michel Cluizel.

I think this an area where people's taste differs. First, I don't like chocolate with things in it; I want pure chocolate. Second, I can actually taste the difference between what's typically carried at a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc., and something like Michel Cluizel, and having had really good bars I don't want to go back to eating others.

Denee Barr Art News and More said...

Thanks for this discussion...I've purchased some wonderfully rich, decadent chocolate bars @ David's Natural Market too!

Anonymous said...

the MOM (my organic market), has a really nice selection too, mostly free-trade organic stuff, and some others.

hecker said...

Thanks for the comments. I've bought a number of bars at David's, so I know what they stock. (Of the ones I've tried, I like the Equal Exchange 71% cacao bar the best.) In general the organic / fair trade bars are hit and miss -- some are good, others so-so. I'll see what Roots, MOM, etc., have to offer.

Ravyne said...

On your way to the shore, stop by the Pepperridge Farm Outlet in the Queenstown Outlet Center. They carry Godiva half-price. Last weekend we got an extra 20% off. I got 2 of the 1 lb. ballotins and about 10 assorted bars for about $48 including tax.

Cannot beat that - considering that the 1 lb ballotins cost $42.00 each!