Favorite Mail-Order Chocolateir?
I've recently been trying out some chocolates through mail-order.
I loved Garrison's Confections, but didn't even like Nirvana Chocolates (through Chocolate Source). I was mediochre with Swan's chocolates.
I am waiting on an order from Hauser Chocolates.
What are your favorite mail-order chocolates?
I especially liked ordering from Hauser (in CT) because they let me choose which types of chocolates to put in the box. Also, I didn't have to pay $15.00 for shipping. I'm odd, but I don't like chocolates made with hazlenuts, and so many places do so much with hazelnuts!
Do you have any recommendations?
I'm cheating a little here, because I've actually not mail ordered chocolates from Bissinger's. They used to have a shop in Kansas City, though, and I stop anytime I pass through St. Louis. I miss their molasses puffs in dark chocolate, and they do fruit creams and dipped fruits really well, too. They also have a marzipan and pecan sweet in dark chocolate, the name of which escapes me, but it's good, too, if a little sweet. I believe they will ship other than overnight this time of year, so perhaps shipping isn't so expensive before spring?
I posted a very similar query asking for good dark intense chocolates for my Mom before the holidays. I sent some from Holls, and they were well-received. The customer service was extremely helpful and friendly when I had to change the delivery address.
But the real stars were the chocolate truffles I ordered from Chocolate Potpourri. www.chocolatetruffles.com. Mom really liked these -- thought they were really delicious and pretty, too.
Mom likes dark, strong, intense chocolate flavor and isn't too impressed by nuts or fruits or spice fillings. She is from St. Louis, and Bissinger's is an "ehhh." She finds Godiva to be too waxy. She likes Sees when I bring a box from the airport. She thinks the cocoa-dusted dark chocolate truffles from Trader Joes are tasty, though not as elegant as the others.
Thanks again for those who made suggestions for me last month.
Fran's chocolates out of Seattle. Listed as Oprah's favorites a while ago. They are absolutely a Chowhound find. The best are the smoked salt caramels (dark or light) The coconut bars are yummy too. The sea salt on top of the chocolate dipped caramels are out of this world. www.franschocolates.com
I don't think you're odd at all about the use of hazelnuts -- I don't dislike hazelnuts, but too many European chocolatiers use waaaay to much gianduja (hazelnut chocolate).
I love See's (although I usually stick to the dark chocolates), but it's not "gourmet" chocolate (and it's priced accordingly). What's nice about ordering See's mail order is that you can custom pack your box -- you don't have to settle for whatever assortments the confectioner is offering.
One "gourmet" chocolatier that doesn't get mentioned very often is Woodhouse in Napa Valley. They do mail order: http://www.woodhousechocolate.com/
I wasn't impressed by Nirvana, except for the caramels, which were delicious.
A kind 'hound sent me some LA Burdick's once, and they were wonderful.
This topic comes up pretty frequently (especially around the holidays), so you might want to search for some of the older threads (which are quite extensive).
My sister always gives me chocolates for Christmas. She had been buying Godiva, but this year she decided to try See's. The See's are better than Godiva, but they are still a notch or 2 below what I am capable of making myself or what I have had in Montreal or Europe.
A co-worker on mine, who is well aware of my chocolate addiction sent a sampler of Jacques Torres Chocolates. I have only sampled a few of them , but the quality and creativity have set a new level for American Chocolateir to strive for.
Burdick is excellent...their penguins & mice make very nice party favors and/or gifts, too...
many others also do mail order...a excellent but less well known one is pierre marcolini....
You can also try La Maison du Chocolat and Richart