Can you remember the last time you sat down with a decent box of chocolates?! Yep neither can I!
There is so much sweet stuff on the shelves now with treat bags to share bars, however as my dad would always say ‘this is not real chocolate’ – in a really strong French accent. I suppose, being from France where the streets are filled with chocolatiers making craft chocolate bars and indulgent truffles he is right! The stuff we get from the shops is far less desirable than a handmade chocolate! It certainly doesn’t taste as good!
We, as consumers, have become ever more aware of what we buy into, and there has been a significant increase in local artisan markets and specialist independent shops both on the high street and online. We care so much more about how the products we buy are made and the ingredients that goes into them. Handcrafted and homemade items are ever-growing in popularity. Quality and bespoke is now what sings to us!
Let’s be honest you can really taste the difference between a bog standard choccie from a slowly diminishing selection box and a craft chocolate! The quality is overt and the flavours tingle and mingle on the tongue. Furthermore, the greatest thing I find is that I don’t wolf it down, I savour the taste! There is just something far more enjoyable sitting on the sofa all cosy with a golden box of smooth delectable chocolates.
My nana has a tradition where every Birthday and Christmas she sends us a homemade chocolate box from the little artisan shop in the little village down the road – these are from back where I grew up and so it always reminds me of home. It feels so special and I love seeing which ones she has handpicked out for me. There are always classic favourites for me it has to the creme brulee along with the white chocolate champagne truffle, sometimes I get the delightful surprise of something new, I pray it’s not a dark chocolate lime – however it always makes me feel like that moment in Matilda!
I am happy that artisan is making its way back, I feel homemade products are made with care and love and are so individual and bespoke that you have a piece of something special! They also make amazing gifts, a unique gift you’ve really put thought into!
Bars and truffles are not the only things to craft out of this sweet delight – I remember strolling down the streets of Paris only to see a giant gorilla in the window of an artisan chocolate shop. Chocolate sculptures are not only stunning pieces of artwork but they are delicious too. From then on I was hooked, I excitedly waiting for the chocolate showcase episode on Bake Off – Creme de la Creme and then quickly fell in love with watching the World Chocolate Masters! I mean these creations are almost too beautiful to eat!
Are you a fan of the artisan?