Valentine's Day Chocolates

This is my recommendation for the very best chocolates to order for Valentine's Day. The list is the exact same one I recommended last year. I've eaten a lot of chocolates since then, and my list stands, for a second year in a row!

The only addition or change I would suggest is to think about sending chocolate French macarons! You can order them online from Laduree! Decadent!

1.  L. A. Burdick Chocolates

        Located in the story book village of Walpole, Vermont, L. A. Burdick Chocolates are handmade in the French and Swiss tradition. They are super silky, more chocolate than sugar, without preservatives, and are hand-shaped and hand-cut rather than produced in molds. Like little gems, they are small and intense in flavor. For years my favorites have been the tiny mice or penguins just because they are so adorable. But consider putting together a custom box of say the Richelieu (cherry liquor, cherries, and cumin inside), Fig (fig and port wine inside), Brazilia (espresso ganache, kirsch and anise seed inside), some salted caramels, Dark Penguins (lemon ganache inside), and Macallans (12-year-old Macallan whisky with pistachio marzipan inside) and see what the reaction is to your gift!     1-800-229-2419

2. Richart Chocolates

        One day years ago a huge box arrived in the mail from friends. It was a Richart "vault" with drawers that you pulled open to reveal trays of tiny chocolates. Today, they have added to the original paper/cardboard "vaults" an ultra-deluxe "vault" made of burlwood that costs a fortune ($850). Without straining your budget too much, you can order great little boxes of simply one layer of tiny chocolates that will make a lasting impression on the lucky recipient. Because beyond the style element, these chocolates are really really intensely flavored and exquisitely delicous. 

     Consider gifting their Petits Hearts box of 16 filled chocolates for $24. Or the Intense Ballotin of 49 chocolates for $65. What are the chocolates flavored with? Richart specializes in seven flavor families: balsamic, roasted, fruits, citrus, herbs, floral, and spiced. Think Rose Ganache, Basil Ganache, Kumquat Coulis, or Curry Praline. You can visit their stores in Paris, Boston, Milano, or call and order over the phone.    1-800-742-4278

3. Jacques Torres Chocolates

      What could be better than milk chocolate truffles filled with fresh cream and Taittinger Champagne? Jacques Torres makes them for you. He's located in New York City and at age 21 was the youngest to ever win France's coveted Meilleur Ouvrier de France Patisserie. You can order a box of these sinful treats in the shape of champagne corks for $20, which makes them a surprisingly great value and a surprisingly delightful gift.    1-212-414-2462

4.  Michael Recchiuti

        I love caramels coated in good chocolate. Michael Recchiuti in San Francisco takes it to a higher level by creating Fleur de Sel Caramels coated in rich dark chocolate. You can order a box of 16 of these gooey chewy salty sweet delights for $23.

         Another great idea is his Wine Pairing Box of 9 pieces of gourmet chocolates including star anise & pink peppercorn, jasmine tea, and force noir to pair with red wines. You can send the chocolates and show up in person with the wines!     1-800-500-3396

5.  Charbonnel & Walker

      I have swooned for their lavender and rose creams since the 1980's and now that their Chocolate Cafe has opened in NYC in Saks Fifth Avenue I can have them at will and on a whim. They are so fragrant, almost like eating perfume. This may not appeal to some, but I am thrilled with the experience. For Valentine's Day I saw on their web site that you can order from their NYC store a Pink Champagne Hamper than contains Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles, Champagne Truffle Hearts, and 1/4 bottle of Moet et Chandon.    1-212-588-0546



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