Support your local chocolatier this Valentine’s Day. Here are my top five picks when shopping for quality homemade chocolates for your honey.
- Bon Bons Chocolatier – Main Street, Huntington. Bon Bons has been making more than 50 varieties of chocolate since 1979. It is owned and operated by mother and daughter duo, Mary Alice and Susannah Meinersman. Their Valentine heart boxes are just gorgeous. They have everything from truffles to caramels, to dark chocolate covered pretzels to nonpareils. All the chocolate is created by chef Eric Lobignat, a chocolatier who worked at the famous La Maison du Chocolat, in Paris, France. A large glass window in the back of the store gives visitors a glimpse into the kitchen and into the world of chocolate making.
- North Fork Chocolate Company –Route 25, Aquebogue. North Fork Chocolate Company prides itself in making “small batch” artisanal chocolates using pure Belgian chocolate and local products such as wine, beer, port, honey, fruits and even local ginger. All ingredients are fresh, natural and organic. Chef Steve Amaral is an award winning chocolatier who is a graduate of Johnson and Wales. All his chocolates are “inspired with passion, creativity and love.”
- Chocolicious Chocolatier – Birch Hill Road, Locust Valley. This quaint shop specializes in handmade truffles and a wide variety of chocolates and hand-dipped fruits. Originally located in Glen Cove over two decades ago, Chocolicious moved to Locust Valley in 1996, and prides itself on “making the most sumptuous and delightful chocolates and treats.” New recipes are continually being created, and are enjoyed by a loyal following.
4. Schwartz Candies – Voice Road, Carle Place. Schwartz Candies was founded by Al Schwartz in 1939. Along with making homemade confections, Schwartz created his legendary dark chocolate covered “Out of This World Marshmallows,” which come in nine flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint, maple, banana, coffee, pistachio and vanilla with a layer of caramel on the bottom. For Valentine’s Day, Schwartz Candies offers a special marshmallow heart filled with either the original eight assorted flavors; vanilla marshmallows, or vanilla marshmallows with a caramel bottom. All of the marshmallows are dipped in semisweet dark chocolate.
5. Emile’s Candies – Merrick Road, Oceanside. Emile’s is a third-generation business that has been around for 50 years. All the chocolates are made in small batches on the premises. Only pure and fresh ingredients are used. Emile’s Candies offers an array of chocolate crisps, creamy chewy caramels, soft cream-filled chocolates and hand dipped chocolate fruits, to name just a few. There is a large variety of Valentine’s heart boxes to choose from, which they will be happy to fill for you.
This post was originally published in February 2016.