Jim's article on toffee prompts me to remind those coming to Philadelphia about SHANE'S on Market between
Front & 2nd. This is a very old family run store with original woodwork and hand made chocolates. The buttercreams are great. Also the nationally known candy maker ASHER'S, I believe still has their original shop on Germantown Avenue. I think they are the best mass produced chocolate people in U. S.
yeah, makes sense....Philly strikes me as a nut buttercrunch type of town.
but wait...you do understand (just checking!) that I'm talking specifically about toffee coated in chocolate and studded with nuts, right? It's a real specific concoction, unlike anything else...
I've gotta check out Shane's next trip...it sounds pretty close to Pink Rose Bakery, so I can pick up all my sugar items in one nabe.
re: Jim Leff
Shane's is great, particularly the peanut creams (chocolate covered peanut clusters with vanilla buttercream in the center). But Lore's Chocolate Spot on 7th between Chestnut and Market is excellent, too...very nice solid white chocolate bunnies filled with dark chocolate buttercream. Still, there is no candy better than a Trinidad from Fannie May.
When I lived in Philly, Lorne's had my chocolate vote. Both their milk and dark chocolate is swooningly fragrant, complex and rich. Their chocolates are excellent too, but the high quality of chocolate they use makes their seasonal shapes and their chocolate-covered nuts and pretzels fantastic. They made the almond bark of the gods.
Shane's never quite compared, somehow, although I know they have a rabid following among many chocoholics and fans of the coconut-cinnamon Irish Potatoes. And, hey Jim, Shane's is about 8 long blocks from Pink Rose.
What about the truffles at Braverman's Bakery in Reading Terminal? The golfball-sized, over-$2 apiece ones? Are they still divine? (Again, the large, flashy Chocolate Shop also at the Terminal falls short, in spite of the chocolate anatomy specimens).
There were certain awful candies--these wierd orange Lance sticks with coconut, teaberry gum--that seemed endemic to Philly once upon a time but were vanished on my recent visit. I couldn't find them even in neighborhood delis or in the Amish candy place in Reading Terminal.