With the official beginning of summer things have really started to heat up here in Asheville and at The Chocolate Fetish (don’t worry we’re keeping your chocolate nice and cool). As usual this time of year downtown has been filled with visitors from out of town, lots of talented buskers, high energy drum circles, and a general sense of summer enjoyment and excitement. We’re gearing up for the end of the month with the Southern Highlands Craft Guild Show and Belle Chere just around the corner.
If you’ve never been to a Southern Highlands Craft guild Show and you appreciate fine art & crafts this is the place to go! I’ve always been a fan of The Southern Highlands show because it showcases nothing but top quality work from the best artists in the South and you get to meet the artists and watch demonstrations. I like working in our shop during the show because lots of the artists come in to get their chocolate fix and because we see a lot of people that have a real appreciation for artisan things like our artisan Chocolates. When Southern Highlands comes to town we always feature some of our more artistic Chocolates. We continue to have a wide selection of hand painted Chocolate High Heels and Cowboy Boots on display as well as Smash Cakes and Chocolate Showpieces. We will also be featuring our hand painted with luster dust Chocolate artist palettes available in milk or dark chocolate. The show (http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/) will be happening at the Civic Center July 21 to July 24, and if you make it downtown make sure and come by to get a little Chocolate!
As usual our kitchen is a buzz with activity. The season for chocolate covered strawberries has come to a close but we are continuing to create delicious treats using fresh fruits. Blueberry and/or Blackberry bites (made with local berries) will be available on Fridays and Saturdays as they are available. Apparently the extra rain has caused some of the black berries to be less than perfect so we’re crossing our fingers and hoping the later crops come in better. These little morsels of goodness are so delicious! Fresh juicy fruits offer the perfect tart/sweet accent to our always indulgent dark or creamy smooth white chocolate. We’re also creating some new sure to be delicious creations specifically for Bele Chere. At this point it’s all top secret but this much I can say… if you are an Ashevillian that usually avoids Bele Chere because of the crowds it just might be worth a trip to try some of our special Bele Chere treats (and it’s not that crazy early Friday and on Sunday). Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter to hear about what seasonal fruit delight we will have every weekend through the summer.
The testing continues as our chocolatiers continue to develop some new truffle flavors. We are extremely particular about our truffles. We never take a recipe out of a book or just throw something together on a whim. Each recipe is the result of numerous test batches to achieve just the right flavor balance. It takes lots of work (and a lot of tasting, yum!) to create a flavor that unfolds on your palette and really creates a moment of ecstasy. Chocolate is much like fine wine with different varieties and processes creating different flavor profiles from smoky to fruity or oaky and beyond . To create the perfect truffle one must consider these flavor nuances as well as whatever you are using for flavor be it spices, herbs, fruits, or liquors. Keep an eye out early this fall as I’m sure by then we will be ready to share the fruits of our labors.