Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alegio Chocolaté

There is something magical about people who decide their life's work will be making the most amazing chocolates that they can come up with. Like the great chocolate shop in North Berkeley, Alegio Chocolaté that we visited earlier in the summer. They are chocolate makers, not chocolatiers (the difference nicely explained by David Lebovitz here, along with an entertaining blog post to read about chocolate).

Alegio Chocolaté is surrounded by good food, including Lush Gelato and a Picoso Taqueria (a taqueria that gets adequate reviews in Berkeley, but that would be packed if it lived in Seattle). Gelato is lovely and Taqueria's have a special place in my heart but a chocolate shop is like a trip to Paris for me. A tiny shop, where they are selling all these beautiful chocolates that so much thought, care, love and precision went into, all in order to provide someone with a moment of bliss.

The store is small and enchanting, the display boxes are colorful, the chocolates are beautiful and the whole effect is calming. Buying artisan chocolates should always be like this. Like visiting Fran's Chocolates, in Seattle, where they offer you samples and are the poster child of good customer service. It feels decadent just to be in a shop like Fran's and Alegio Chocolaté, and it is.

I bought some chocolates to give away but they never made it to their unnamed recipients. The milk chocolate was, possibly, the best milk chocolate I have ever eaten. I am usually more in the dark chocolate camp but my husband loves milk chocolate and he has slowly been trying to win me over by bringing me absurdly delicious milk chocolate. This milk chocolate would make anyone swoon. It has everything that is wonderful about milk chocolate and nothing that is bad. Sweet, without being too sweet and super creamy. I think there is a lot of low quality milk chocolate out there, which unfairly gives it a bad name.  Shops like Alegio Chocolate are giving milk chocolate a good name again. This is a gem of a shop, perfect for purchasing a small gift or a small treat for yourself.

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