February is National Chocolate Lovers Month, and we could not be any more excited to welcome the Chocolate Shoppe of Gardnerville to our online store!
Proprietors Harvey and Lynn Falcone have been crafting confections since 1994. Selling wholesale did not allow them to see the joy and outright pleasure that putting a piece of our chocolate in your mouth brought. They decided to open their retail shoppe and they personally meet and greet all who come through their doors.
“It’s exactly what we thought it would be – lots of smiles, hugs and kind words from our customers be they regulars or first-timers,” Lynn said.
We are delighted to carry 16 varieties of Harvey and Lynn’s confections, and with February being the official month to appreciate fine chocolate (although truth be told, we appreciate these goodies on a regular basis!) we thought we’d share some great ways to pair chocolate with some of our other locally sourced products!
Beer and chocolate pairings
According to CandyIndustry.com, beer and chocolate share some characteristics.
“Not only are both better when produced by master craftspeople but beer and chocolate each also mingle bitter and sweet flavors to excite taste buds,” the website says.
IPAs tend to mix well with darker chocolates with spicy or salty notes, which add depth to the combo of the earthy, hoppy flavors of IPAs and the sweetness of the chocolate.
More intense sweetness from rich chocolate can be nicely accompanied by something lightly hoppy and refreshing. Milk chocolates pair well with lighter-bodied beers, and beers with fruity notes go well with dark chocolate.
Simple taste test or new party idea?
Whether you want to do a simple taste test or you’re thinking of doing a pairing party, here are our best matchups. And while we no longer distribute Alibi Ale Works beers, they still work really well with chocolate!
Alibi IPA, a hoppy nectar boasting resinous pine flavors, complex tropical aromas and a light creamy malt backbone that allows the hops to shine, with Sea Salted Roka in Dark Chocolate – ROKA is the center part of toffee – rich and buttery! Thick but not sticky and double dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.
Kölsch from Alibi Ale Works, a very crisp, lager-like beer fermented at cooler temperatures and then cold-conditioned to perfection. We use a blend of German and American hops for a modern twist on this classic session beer. and Ashley’s Bordeoux – Rich and creamy brown sugar, mocha buttercream, wrapped in dark chocolate and topped with real chocolate sprinkles
Chance of Clouds Cloudy IPA from Alibi Ale Works, bursting with mango and papaya from double dry-hopping with Mosaic and Azacca hops, with Chocolate Shoppe Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, all-natural peanut butter that we blend with our chocolate and then overfill our fresh made chocolate cups.
Coffee and chocolate pairings
Not into beer? Try some of Alpen Sierra Coffee, roasted in Minden, with these sweet treats.
Alpen Sierra Certified Organic Dolomiti Blend Dark Roast, A premium sustainable coffee blend that is excellent for espresso preparation. The delicate, nutty-sweet aroma is followed by a smooth cup of almond, citrus and dark chocolate notes, medium body with a tempered acidity, finishing smooth and round with Chocolate Shoppe truffles filled with dark chocolate ganache made with semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates that are melded together with hot whipping cream, either with liquors or without.
Certified Organic Colombia Fina La Pradera Medium Roast from Alpen Sierra has delightful citrus fruit aromas, with well-balanced chocolate, cherry and lemon flavor notes, finishing smoothly and long-lingering, pairs well with the Chocolate Shoppe Solid Chocolate Lake Tahoe in Dark Chocolate (but let’s be real – these treats come in a package of two, one dark and one milk chocolate, so anything goes here!)
Alpen Sierra Big Blue Tahoe Blend, bright and winey character of an estate-grown Costa Rica Tarrazu greets the palate, transitioning into full, sweet and intense flavor, as the blend reveals its qualities of bittersweet chocolate, herbal nuance, spice and full-body, with Chocolate Shoppe Sea-Salted Caramels in Dark Chocolate, handmade caramel covered in chocolate and then salted with Himalayan sea salt.
Just love chocolate or know someone who does?
You’re in luck! The Chocolate Shoppe offers beautiful gift trays which are a fantastic way to try lots of different confections.
And if you’re NOT into chocolate (who does that?) try Chocolate Shoppe’s Peanut Brittle. Sweet, salty, super crunchy old-fashioned peanut brittle loaded with premium raw redskin peanuts, pure grade AA butter and a little extra sea salt to give it that richly flavored classic, old-fashioned taste. It literally brings back memories in every bite!