We are beyond blessed in my hometown to have one of the greatest chocolatiers in the world (seriously – their products are shipped all over the world). DeBrand’s Fine Chocolates is a family-owned, gourmet chocolate company that whips up decadent creations and sends them out in gorgeous packaging. Walking into a DeBrand’s shop is like walking into a chocolate gift box: impeccably decorated, all of the gold and shades of chocolate enhance the divine smells of chocolates emanating from the massive glass display case. These chocolate treats melt slowly and are so incredibly smooth and complex, you feel as though you’ve spent a fortune and it was worth every penny.
DeBrand’s just celebrated its 25th birthday, and they allowed all of us chocophiles to celebrate with them by offering 25% off of almost all of their merchandise. When I went to indulge, I picked up a mocha truffle for mom (her favorite), a coconut truffle for dad (his favorite) and a Sweet Heat bar (which is the most complex and sophisticated chocolate bar I’ve ever eaten) and the most incredible sea salt caramels I’ve enjoyed anywhere for myself. The only chocolates I had yet to try was DeBrand’s Faces of the World collection. I picked up a box of those, then we sat down with glasses of sparkling water (for palate cleansing) and commenced with a chocolate tasting…
The Tahini: Seasoned Tahini and sesame seeds with dark, milk, and white chocolates (DeBrand’s description). Now, sesame seeds with chocolate may sound bizarre to the less adventurous, but they give a nutty depth to the chocolate that is really rich. This ended up being my dad’s favorite of the collection.
The Ginger: Asian ginger blended with white chocolate (DeBrand’s description). I have never had ginger with chocolate in any form. While it was an acquired taste for all three of us, I loved how unique the flavor combination was, and this chocolate is incredibly smooth.
The Caliente: Chili powder, cinnamon and cumin blended with milk chocolate (DeBrand’s description). These same components are in my beloved Sweet Heat MyBar, which I mentioned above. The smell alone of this one is divine: cinnamon and chocolate make a beautiful marriage. This does not taste like chili peppers, if that is your concern. Rather, heat permeates the back of your throat as you swallow and you are left with warm chocolate comfort.
The Hazel: Hazelnut paste & chopped hazelnuts with white, milk and dark chocolates (DeBrand’s description). This is the one for you Nutella lovers, but this is gourmet Nutella. It even tastes more expensive, and does not have that sugary texture. This one is ridiculously smooth and melts slowly on your tongue, which is just a lovely way to enjoy The Hazel.
The Java: dark chocolate with crushed Ethiopian coffee beans (DeBrand’s description). This was mom’s favorite, which came as no surprise since her favorite DeBrand’s treat is the mocha truffle. This is the one for coffee lovers, and all three of us loved this one, too. Coffee is one of those things that beautifully compliments chocolate, and this one is strong and rich.
Now, if you haven’t already, go to the DeBrand’s website, and at least enjoy the visual decadence and descriptions. And, thank you so much, DeBrand’s, for all of the incredibly wonderful things you give our community.