My Chocolate Fetish
Shoshana and I traveled to North Carolina for Joanna & Justin Rader’s wedding last weekend. When Joanna listed on her wedding site places to visit in Asheville, I sent her a message asking why the important sites weren’t listed…chocolatiers and bakeries.
Joanna immediately corrected this and The Chocolate Fetish was included. Joanna had brought us their chocolates on a recent visit to South Florida and I flipped over them.
We arrived at our hotel, dropped off our suitcases and immediately headed to The Chocolate Fetish near downtown Asheville. When I met owner Sue Foley and explained about Desserts Required’s Amazing Finds, she was initially hesitant. I told Sue that I would not write about The Chocolate Fetish, unless she was comfortable with my doing so.
Fortunately for all of us, Sue said it was fine and spent quite a bit of time showing Shoshana and me the two kitchens where the magic happens. The two are actually connected; the smaller one is seen from within the shop, while the second, larger room can be viewed from within the Haywood Park Hotel, the building in which The Chocolate Fetish resides. Along with the viewing windows, you can’t help but notice the gorgeous mural that one of the talented men who works at The Chocolate Fetish drew and the amazing chocolate sculptures that Sue’s daughter Elizabeth created.
The Chocolate Fetish opened 26 years ago and Sue and her husband Bill bought it 10 years ago. I asked Sue what they had done in their pre-chocolatier life together. Bill had been a marketing executive with a company that afforded the opportunity to live and travel in many countries. Sue was a stay-at-home mom who did quite a bit of moving.
When Bill was working in the Middle East, Sue and their two children lived in London, where Sue took many cooking and baking classes. Sue also had the opportunity to take classes, while living in Brussels, with some of the world’s best chocolatiers.
Sue’s palate is spot-on. She told us that all of their chocolates are made with a blend of a few high-end chocolates. So when someone says, “I had a chocolate just like this elsewhere,” Sue smiles knowing this is not really possible.
Each piece of chocolate that The Chocolate Fetish makes is unique to their shop, due in part to their special blends and in part to their individual style of creativity. The Chocolate Frogs are similar in concept to a chocolate turtle, but due to trademark laws, the Frog is used instead. Their Chocolate Frogs are divine and come loaded with either pistachios, cashews or pecans that are bathed in heavenly caramel and topped with your choice of white, milk or dark chocolate. One of the very catchy things about the frogs is that they sit open-faced with the chocolate on the bottom.
Among the many accolades that The Chocolate Fetish has received, Sue’s proudest one was recently awarded, 2013 Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America Four Star Award rating from The International Chocolate Salon. One thing that sets this award apart from others is that it comes from their peers in the industry, which is the highest form of flattery.
The Chocolate Fetish is a family business in every sense of the word. Bill, Sue and Elizabeth are there all the time, but even Bill and Sue’s son is a part of it from his home in San Francisco. As an example, he was after Sue to add wasabi to a truffle for quite some time. Sue was not keen on the idea. During a trip to Asheville, her son asked to go into the kitchen and take a shot at making a wasabi truffle. In their own words their Dragon’s Sigh truffle, is “Sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds. Enrobed in a creamy smooth dark chocolate couverture, the dark full flavored dark chocolate center will tickle your tongue with a light taste of wasabi that is spicy, but very mild and refined.” It is now one of The Chocolate Fetish’s hot sellers.
I liked the Dragon’s Sigh (you didn’t think I wouldn’t try one, did you?) but LOVED the Habanero Sea Salt Caramel. Three letters…O-M-G!! A week later and I am still longing for more. Such is the case with the other chocolates that Shoshana and I selected. I am not sure that either one of us is truly able to say which one was our favorite. Then again, when one is savoring chocolates with names like, Blossom, Ancient Pleasures, French Velvet, Hazelnut Gianduia, Chocolate Frogs, Chocolate Raspberries, Chocolate Covered Mango, Ultimate Crunch Bar and Hazelnut Crisp Bar, can you really blame us?
If you are not as fortunate as I to have friends who come down to Florida bearing The Chocolate Fetish gifts, don’t fret. They ship across the country and are very happy to help you make the perfect selection. I just hope you have an easier time deciding than I!The Chocolate Fetish 36 Haywood Street Asheville, North Carolina 28801 828.258.353