While some people prefer roses to celebrate special occasions like Valentine's Day, others prefer chocolates. Milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolates are all delicious. But it's the dark variety that comes with documented health benefits. According to many health-related sites, dark chocolates lower blood pressure. According to WebMD, dark chocolate (not eaten with milk) is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals which are the destructive molecules associated with heart disease and other ailments.
Enough health-related news, let's just eat it because we love it. But we can feel good doing it now!
My favorites are anything in the dark chocolate family and then exotic blends like chile-infused dark chocolate.
Here are some of the best places in DFW to find dark chocolate, milk chocolate and every variety you can imagine. Enjoy because February is National Chocolate Month!
Photo credit: Dave Carlin
Chocolate Secrets must be one of Dallas' best kept secrets. Not only is it a gourmet chocolate and fine wine boutique, it also offers sophisticated desserts, smooth jazz nights, a decadent ice cream bar and a wine and beer menu. Chocolate Secrets, 26 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219. 214-252-9801.
I was introduced to Coco André during a tasting tour from DallasByChocolate.com. I was whisked away on a private bus and provided with beverages while stopping at various sites to sample items at DFW's premier local chocolatiers, bakeries, cheesemakers and other artisanal specialty shops. I had an absolute blast and the group I toured/tasted with was so much fun.
CocoAndré is a family-owned specialty chocolate shop located near Dallas' Bishop Arts District. Owner Andrea Pedraza and her team are famous for their 100% cocoa butter-based chocolates. With 30 years experience as a Master Chocolatier and Old World Style truffle maker, Andrea has perfected her craft. The result: truly amazing chocolates that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Coco André, 831 West Davis Street, Dallas, TX 75208. 214-941-3030.
Looking for something unique? How about chocolate handcuffs? Chocolate-covered strawberries: $40/dozen; $70/2 dozen. Schakolad Chocolate Factory, 106 E. 4th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102. 817-870-2400.
I love the name. And you have to love a chocolate shop that offers a product uniquely named "Crack in a Box."
Update: I just stopped by a Dude, Sweet Chocolate satellite store at Preston Center and was impressed with the anatomically-correct heart that's made of crack chocolate. How cool is that? If you're married or work for a cardiologist, I think it's the perfect Valentine's Day gift. $45.
Dude, Sweet Chocolate, 408 West Eighth Street, Dallas, TX 75208 214-943-5943; The Plaza at Preston Center, 8304 Preston Center Plaza, Dallas 75225; and The West 7th Development, 2925 Crockett Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
Elegantly Chocolate specializes in ornately decorated gift boxes which can be custom designed for all seasons, holidays, weddings, birthdays or any event. They only use high quality ingredients, no preservatives or additives. Elegantly Chocolate, 2515 E. Rosemeade Pkwy., Carrollton, TX 75007. 214-679-7243.
Godiva chocolates come in a variety of packages. The signature golden box with a bright red ribbon or a heart-shaped box. Choose from milk chocolates, dark chocolates, chocolates with a stuffed animal, chocolates on a stick, chocolate truffles, chocolate cupcakes. Need an idea for the man in your life? Think about a Milk Chocolate Cigar or chocolate-covered pretzels. They are sure to have anything you're looking for to celebrate a special occasion -- like Valentine's Day. Locations throughout DFW.
Yes, they ship. Order now for Valentine's Day. Sublime Chocolate Bar, 908 Market Street, Allen, Texas 75013. 214-383-6776.
Shipping is only $5 on orders of $40 or more this Valentine's holiday season. Boxed chocolates, special assortments, highly decorated Granny Smith apples, sugar-free chocolates and other scrumptious snacks. Locations throughout DFW.