My chocolate sculpture class begins Monday morning so I have three days and about six hundred miles to discover what other chocolate inspiration I might find.
Generally I am apprehensive about visiting other Chocolate shops. Too often my visits begin with excitement over new flavor combinations and end in dissapointment as I taste poor quality chocolate and over or under flavored truffles. I do my best to remain unbiased but over and over I find myself craving the familiar flavors of The Chocolate Fetish. Sometimes one does find a diamond in the rough.
My chocolate philosophy is all about subtlty. To me, the secret of a great truffle is balancing a disticnt flavor in a way that is recognizable yet allows the flavor of the chocolate to be the star of the show. A truffle’s flavor should unfold gracefully and be enhanced by its flavorings, not overpowered by them.
First stop on the road to inspiration is Nashville’s The Cocoa Tree. I find this little shop in an interesting block off North 5th Avenue nesstled amongst a cluster of local cafes and shady trees. Founded by chocolatier Bethany Thouin The Cocoa Tree features Southern inspired flavors like Jack & Ginger and Yazoo’s Dos Perros.
I really enjoyed the Music City inspired artwork, especially the photo of a guitar adorned with truffles. I was pleasantly surprised by some of Cocoa Trees truffles. All of the chocolate was of good quality and I found some flavors delightfully well balanced. Thanks Cocoa Tree for a pleasant visit and a little bit of inspiration along the way.