Chocolate lovers can travel to Belgium without leaving the state. Five of Connecticut's dozen artisanal chocolate shops got a tip of the hat from the New York Times this week. "Though their products differ, these Connecticut chocolatiers all use premium chocolate (Callebaut from Belgium seems to be favored), which means it contains only cocoa butter, no oil like the waxy compounds used commercially." These chocolates don't come cheap, starting at about $20 a pound, but that's a small price to pay for a mental vacation to Belgium!
Bridgewater Chocolate in Brookfield has a Swedish founder who specializes in "dense, multibite pieces with toffee, caramel and nuts — as well as high-grade chocolate."
Norwalk's Knipschildt Choolatier makes three-step and enrobed chocolates, "single-estate chocolate — chocolate made from cocoa beans from a single farm — and chocolates with spices, herbs and other savory flavorings."
The Dutch Epicure Shop in Litchfield is an old-fashioned German bakery that carries homemade cookies, chocolates, cakes and licorice.
Deborah Ann's Sweet Shoppe of Ridgefield has "a child-friendly, $25-a-pound chocolate style that includes chocolate-covered Oreos, pretzels and fudge."
Kent's Belgique Pâtisserie & Chocolatier specializes in "molded, three-step chocolates are traditional Belgian pralines filled with classic gianduja, a hazelnut ganache, and other mainly chocolate mixtures that must be refrigerated because of the large amount of cream they contain."
See the full article for a complete list of artisanal choclatiers in Connecticut.