Friday, February 11, 2011

Charles Chocolates: For Any Occasion

So... any plans for Valentine's Day?

D'oh, you say? You forgot to buy a treat in celebration? Well, get thee to a Whole Foods and look for Charles Chocolates or, if you're in the San Francisco area, visit their flagship store.

I visited their first location, in Emeryville, CA, back in 2008. How did I hear about them? Well, my mother-in-law has connections, y'see. That's right, I'm connected by a couple of degrees to a chocolatier. Win.

Charles Chocolates has grown since that visit and they've moved to their new location in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Recently, their Salty-Sweet Cashew Bar was a winner in the 2011 Good Food Awards.

Chuck of Charles Chocolates gave my mother-in-law some of the Salty-Sweet Caramel bars to pass along to me. Imagine my delight at receiving chocolate bars. Delight doesn't really describe it properly... it's more like happy-dance-squeal kind of excitement. The cashews are dipped in a fleur de sel meringue and ensconced in rich milk chocolate.

Awesome. Just awesome. Sweet, salty, crunchy, and chocolaty.

My mother-in-law, understanding my weakness for the derivatives of the seeds of Theobroma cacao, had also put one of their 20-piece classic collection boxes in my Christmas stocking. For the indecisive soul who wants to sample many of Charles Chocolates' specialties, this is a good choice.

If you need a treat and you're in the Bay Area or near a Whole Foods, check out their chocolates. This post, alas, is a tad late for Valentine's Day, but I'll share a little wisdom from my mother-in-law's son when he made a point against Valentine's Day hoopla:

"But, sweetie, it's not how I treat you on that one day. It's how I treat you the other 364 days, too!"

We were in college. He thought it was a ridiculously expensive faux-holiday. I wanted a box of chocolates. The take-home lesson is this: If you're running late for Valentine's Day, then who cares... good chocolate can be enjoyed any day of the year.

Charles Chocolates
845 Market Street
Westfield San Francisco Centre
Suite 327
3rd Floor, Bloomingdale's side
San Francisco, CA 94103

4 bites:

Amber said...

Now I am craving chocolate. You are mean! ;)

I especially liked this line: "happy-dance-squeal kind of excitement."

Happy Valentine's!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I want some right this very second. Looking at the screen is making the craving worst. I'm going to emeryville on saturday. I'll have to look them up.

moowiesqrd said...

Hi Skwish... I did see a tweet from them saying their doors are closing, but their website is still up, so I had no idea how to interpret the tweet. They could be out of business entirely or perhaps it was only referencing the storefront. Definitely let me know if you hear anything.

I'm assuming that, based on your comment, that you're in the Bay Area. I don't know of any other chocolatiers that do an edible box, but you could try Recchiuti Confections or Socola Chocolatiers. If they don't make an edible box, perhaps they'll take a custom order? Also, I know Charles Chocolates worked with Teance (there's a store in Berkeley, I think) for the tea truffles, so Teance might be able to direct you to other tea-infused chocolates.

Hope this helps!

Skwish said...

Is Charles Chocolates still in business???? I started trying to contact them on March 1st. I have called several phone numbers no answer or voice mail, sent emails also to no avail. I'm assuming they went out of business???

I am trying to purchase their Edible Chocolate Tea Truffle Box but do not want to order them online. I am open to any other local chocolatiers that might offer a similar product.

Any ideas???

4 bites