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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chocolate and Flowers

The perfect combination! Strolling down East Main Street in Ashland a couple weekends ago, we popped into Enchanted Florist chocolate 'flowers' cafe. No, it's not chocolate molded into flower shapes or those red foil-wrapped chocolate roses, made with really poor quality chocolate. It's a combination floral shop and artisan chocolate cafe, owned by husband and wife team Leslie and Brandon Kirkland.

I adore fresh flowers, but, being on vacation, I wasn't prepared to buy any, so I headed straight for the chocolate sampling. I tried several varieties of chocolate from chocolatiers around the world, including a 100% cacao Franch Pralus bar, but the Dark Milk Chocolate with Fleur de Sel from Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri was my very favorite. Made with single origin "Trinitario" cacao beans, organic cane juice, goat's milk powder, cocoa butter and sea salt, it was the smoothest chocolate I think I have ever eaten. I bought a 3 ounce bar for $8.00 and I have been savoring a square or two after dinner. This would be the perfect chocolate to make "kisses". I am spoiled now--can't ever go back to Hershey's!

I also tried the Aztec Drinking Chocolate, but it had a bit too much bite (heat?, kick? It has chile in it) for my tastes. Made me think of the movie Chocolat.

If you are headed up or down I-5, this shop is certainly worth a detour off the freeway.

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