Okay, it’s the holiday season and what better reason to indulge in something sweet. Not that you need a reason, so why not celebrate with handcrafted chocolate made right here in New Hampshire? I’m not going to sugar coat this, if you like chocolate, you are in for a real treat (or two, or three)!
The delicious aroma of chocolate greets you as soon as you walk into Vicuna Chocolate Factory and Café in downtown Peterborough. I’ve heard a lot about this bean to bar chocolate shop but this was my first time stopping by.
Everything here is made from scratch starting with hand-selected cacao beans sourced from Central and South America. Once the raw beans arrive at their door, the magic begins.
From roasting to grinding, tempering, molding and finally wrapping… they do it all. The result is artisanal chocolate that tastes amazing!
Stop by and try a sample and see the process yourself. While you’re here sit a spell in the café with a cup of their specialty sipping chocolate or try a cup of the unique cacao husk tea and a homemade pastry.
From Peterborough we headed to Manchester, and Van Otis Chocolate. A local landmark, they’ve been making chocolates here since 1935.
Their signature candy is their Swiss Fudge, also known as a meltaway. It’s delish! They’re incredibly busy right now crafting this sweet, boxing up thousands and thousands of pieces all for delivery this holiday season.
Besides the fudge, they’re also funneling caramels, dipping chocolates and crafting many other candies.
Stop by the shop to browse their seasonal treats. After the holidays consider taking a tour or maybe you’d like to try your hand at creating confections they offer classes too!
From Van Otis, we headed to Exeter to round out our chocolate tour at La Cascade du Chocolat! They too are bean to bar chocolatiers.
They combine cacao with locally sourced products to create artisanal masterpieces.
We watched these master chefs at work handcrafting white chocolate bonbons filled with raspberry jam, macadamia nut and carmelized coconut – talk about creative! And the attention to detail, amazing!
All the work that goes into each piece of chocolate whether it’s a bar, bonbon, truffle or seasonal treat really makes you want to slowly savor and appreciate what you’re tasting when you take a bite.
Even their holiday boxes have so much festive flair – they feature bonbons and truffles inspired by the Nutcracker ballet – how cool is that? And the taste? Wow, what a treat! Of course this trio is just a sampling of the chocolate being made in New Hampshire. There’s an incredible variety to choose from, including: Bryne and Carlson in Portsmouth; Burdick’s Chocolates in Walpole; Dancing Lion Chocolate in Manchester; Enna Chocolate in Epping; Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord; Kellerhaus in Weirs Beach; KRM Chocolates in Salem; Winnipesaukee Chocolates in Wolfeboro and we’re just getting started! So be sure to sample and savor some sweets this holiday season! And just a reminder to follow our travels on Facebook and Instagram!