Chocolate. That one word that brings pleasure to so many people, in so many different ways. I have been a lover of chocolate since way back, shoveling M&M’s and chocolate chip ice cream into my mouth, and always being chided by my mother to slow down and enjoy it. As an adult, I still really love chocolate. Some might even say that I’m a bit obsessed. But, just as I have grown, so have my tastes in chocolate. I no longer reach for the overly processed, sugary stuff, and instead, seek out quality, handcrafted chocolates.
The Berkshires are lucky enough to have a number of local chocolate shops, and I can personally testify that they are all worth a visit. Some of them though, are uniquely special. What sets them apart from the others is their dedication to their culinary artwork. They use only the best ingredients, carefully and expressively made into luscious chocolate creations. In Great Barrington, there is H.R. Zeppelin Fine Handmade Chocolates, who recently opened up next door to the Triplex Cinema. They create handcrafted pieces and are made of the finest quality. Their creatively designed truffles are delectable, and it must be very nice to enjoy a treat, while watching a movie next door. In Lenox, there is Art and Chocolate, which is a little chocolate boutique and art gallery in the center of town. They find the most mouth watering chocolates from around the world, and combine it with artwork, allowing the customer to peruse(and purchase) some art, while enjoying a delicious chocolate. If you want to experience an outstanding chocolate experience, make your way to Chocolate Springs, where you will find the elegant creations of chocolatier, Joshua Needleman. Having worked in some of the finest places in the world, he returned to the Berkshires to open his dessert cafe and store. Chocolate Springs has appeared in several national magazines, including a mention by Saveur Magazine, as one of the top ten chocolatiers in the country. They masterfully combine the highest quality chocolates to create a wonderful assortment of amazing flavors. On the tops of the chocolates, Needleman uses edible transfers that leave exquisite designs on the tops of the chocolate pieces. Lovely art atop fantastic chocolates, what could be better? In addition, you will also find solid chocolate that has been molded into whimsical shapes, such as golf balls or golden dusted buddhas, and these make a fun and delicious gift for anyone. So, if you are visiting the Berkshires, remember to stop into a chocolate shop and pick up something wonderful for someone, and don’t forget to get yourself some!