It all started with the Facebook post “Come in for a refreshing Coconut Limeade!!”
Nothing calls to my heart like a piece of dark chocolate. Stricken with lactose-intolerance, I’ve turned to this rich delicacy as my after-dinner standby. A dark chocolate connoisseur, I have left milk chocolates for the weak and pursued the dark jungles of the 70% plus crowd.
Escazu Artisan Chocolates in Raleigh, NC offer handmade, single source chocolate bars and truffles. These chocolates are serious, so the faint of heart need not try them. These food crafters roast their own cocoa beans, grind them, temper and mold the chocolate into eatable jewels. I’ve included a few beautiful photos in this post from Escazu’s Facebook album. Each photo is truly a feast for the eyes.
So, back to that Facebook post. Lounging on the couch, fighting off some damn head cold that kept me from attending SparkCon 2010 (BOO!) I see a glimmer of hope pop-up in my Facebook feed. “Come in for a refreshing Coconut Limeade!!” Escazu beckoned.
The allure of a vitamin C packed punch of sugar, lime and coconut sounded like perfect fuel for my gritty throat and bored body. A little outing would help me get over my sickness…right? It’s hard to keep a wandered down on a beautiful fall weekend. And to top it all off, Brian had already wandered to Escazu’s store without me, damn him.
After a quick drive, we arrived at their cheery store front. Once the door opened I was engulfed in the smell of deep chocolate. Dark, complex and spicy, the room smelled like tradition. The jewels were laid out inside a simple case, waiting for the hmmm and ummms of indecisive moments giving way to greedy conclusions.
I was very pleased to see that Escazu has added “Dairy Free” markers to many of their chocolates. A verifiable kid in a candy store, I limited myself to a homemade chocolate-covered marshmallow, plus a chili and a mango truffle to go with my Coconut Limeade. I was a recovering sick-y after all.
All were delicious. The chili truffle packed a surprising spice on the very end, leaving you with a lingering heat on your lips. The mango was sweet and light. The homemade marshmallow was fluffy and divine. The Coconut Limeade is my new favorite drink – such a great combination and an excellent recovery beverage.
More than great product, Escazu is a great local business. They are responsive and gracious on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ve traded tweets and wall posts with them for a long time, praising their use of social media and asking questions about their product.
It feels good to support people who are pursuing their passion. That is another reason why I love the South, it’s studded with people who are making life work for them. They are working hard to make their passions their livelihoods.
Distance from Raleigh: 0 miles, it’s in Raleigh – Get the map
Wander Well Tips:
- Perfection comes at a price, each truffle costs about $2
- Great place for a first date or an impressive business coffee – they serve espresso, hot cocoa and cold drinks to compliment the chocolates
- Great place to buy gifts, they have cute home wares and fancy boxes to make the favorite people in your life swoon
- Get a little bit of the south delivered to your doorstep through Escazu’s online store