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Where to Find the Best Gourmet Chocolates

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Chocolate is the voice of passion and love, whether it is the love of chocolate itself or as an expression of love for another human being. Valentine's Day or Saturday, chocolate is the perfect gift for those we care about or just want to impress. Here are some online chocolate shops with some truly extraordinary products.

1. Richart Paris

This wonderful French company was started in 1925. "Two generations later, we consider it our daily mission to seek out both an inexhaustible supply of the finest cocoa the world has to offer and, along with it, an equally endless amount of the happiness and pleasure that chocolate has to offer." - Michel Richart. Be sure to check out the Little Gourmet collection.

2. L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates

"We don't use extracts, concentrates or flavorings. Our complementing flavors come directly from their sources. We brew coffees and teas, cook fruits, squeeze and zest oranges and lemons. Herbs and spices are used as needed. No two batches of the same recipe are exactly the same. We use local honey, Mexican vanilla beans and a variety of nuts and dried fruits from California and Turkey; the best we can find!"

3. Christopher Norman Chocolates

"Distinctive boxed collections, hand painted & sculptural truffles, and innovative flavors are all essential elements in Christopher Norman Chocolates. It is our mission to create extraordinarily luscious and sensory-provoking confections that encompass the quintessentially classic flavors, as well as unique and fresh taste experiences. Only the finest all-natural ingredients are used in our truffles and chocolates. Each piece is made by hand, here at our New York City factory."

4. MarieBelle New York

"MarieBelle's signature line of chocolates combine the finest chocolate, eclectic ingredients and artisinal techniques, creating nothing less than works of art. Named after Maribel Lieberman, designer and founder, the chocolates resemble semiprecious jewels as displayed in their beautiful Italian boxes. Everything about MarieBelle New York is haute couture, with a timeless style that feels classic and contemporary." Wonderful handpainted chocolates in exotic flavors.

5. Lake Champlain Chocolates

This Vermont native produces some truly delicious gourmet chocolates. "The union of the rich history of making fine chocolate, the heritage of craftsmanship, and the wonderful flavors of Vermont is accomplished every day at our factory, producing sweet indulgences with pride that goes into each bite. Perhaps that's why The New York Times reveres it as "some of the best chocolate in the country."

6. Vosges Chocolates

Owner/chocolatier Katrina Markoff has created some truly extraordinary chocolates. French trained, Katrina combines classic chocolate techniques with her love of world cuisines. You can find flavors of blood orange, Mexican chili, pumpkin, Hawaiian sea salt, and other exotics as well as classic hazelnut, fine honey, rich caramel, and more.

7. La Maison du Chocolat

An exquisite collection of fine chocolates made in the French tradition. Glazed chestnuts are the perfect wintertime treat.

8. Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections, an artisan company in San Francisco, is on a mission to introduce people to real chocolate and to share with them what it is meant to be. "One bite of these handcrafted morsels will change the way you think about chocolate forever." Classic fine choclates along with some unexpected twists like the signature burnt caramel chocolates or tarragon grapefruit. The Paul Madonna collection features chocolates painted with San Francisco life by the acclaimed artist.

9. Payard's

Francois Payard is one of the best pastry chefs in the country. The Frenchman has a cafe in New York City, Payard's Patisserie and Bistro. He has made his chocolates and cakes available online for everyone to enjoy.

10. Romanicos Chocolate

My favorite truffles! Owner Alejandra Bigai presents chocolate the way it was meant to be; luxurious, sexy, and, above all, delicious. Hand rolled chocolate truffles with delectable flavors like wild coconut, holy berry, passion caramel, heavenly vanilla, and more. The Piccolo Art Collection features hand painted chocolates filled with almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, or dulce de leche (caramel from Argentina). Beautifully packaged. Custom gifts available for businesses.
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