On the road to inspiration.

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.

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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.

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