NY – Here are three shops permanently etched into Professor Chocolate’s Soho tour.
1. Start your tour with the recently opened Indian-inspired jewel box, Xocolatti. The young and uber-talented Shaineal Shah, head chocolatier and founder, will be your guide through a culinary world tour. On a recent visit, our senses were awakened to the pure majesty of the Sake Truffle. Embedded within the couverture is a type of sake native to Okinawa and distilled from Thai-style rice. If this proves to be too adventurous, you can opt to keep your taste buds a little closer to home with an American classic- PB&J, re-imagined with a bit of caramel. Looking for more? The accommodating Shah will be more than happy to help you create a velvety box of chocolates, customized just for you and yours.
2. Walk south along Thompson St. and make your way to Vosges, the lavish purple chocolate boutique. There is no shortage of amazing things we could say about Vosges and its visionary chocolatier/CEO/founder Katrina Markoff. Think elegance, artistic presentation and exquisite chocolate all wrapped up in one. Normally the Professors don’t divulge our personal chocolate secrets, but the Organic Peanut Butter Bonbons may just be one of our all-time favorite gifts to give (and to receive). The velvety and smooth chocolate shell envelops the creamiest and most supple of peanut butters topped off with a hint of pink Himalayan salt. Vosges is also the perfect spot for a range of pre-packaged gifts if time is of the essence. The Spice and Salt Exotic Caramels, wrapped in a purple box of course, will only set you back $9.50. Mo’s Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix runs for $12 and is perfect for the morning after breakfast.
3. After a busy day of consuming chocolate, we often engage in the time-honored tradition of taking in a “spot” of tea. For this, we look no further than MarieBelle just north of the busy Canal Street area of Chinatown. Gawk at the French-style furniture and chandelier – at first glance one might think this is a high-end antique furniture shop. Lucky for all of us, chocolate quickly becomes the true center of attention as you enter further. One of the specialties at MarieBelle is the vintage-era chocolate bar wrappers. Intimate and romantic pictures grace the covers, and will certainly set the romantic mood ($17). The true secret of MarieBelle however lies ensconced in the back of the shop. A cozy, Parisian-style café awaits your arrival. Peaceful and harmonious, nothing says I love you more than an enchanting and whispery conversation over a pot of warm and inviting tea.
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