Monday, July 16, 2007

Eclat Chocolate


Hi, my name is Bob and I am not a chocoholic. But this morning I got an email from Tags (who lives somewhere nearby) telling me that some guy in my town makes some of the best chocolate around. So I decided to stop by Eclat and check it out.

Now the truth is that I've walked by this store at least a dozen times since I moved to West Chester, Pa two years ago. I even walked by with my wife and two kids all yanking on my coat and oohing and ahing over the rows of truffles, bombes and eggs that for all appearences looked first rate. But still I didn't go in because more often than not I have been disappointed to discover that the small artisanal shop I thought I was looking at, was really just an outlet store for overpriced mass produced waxy gloop.

Well duh, was I ever wrong about this place. Chris Curtin, the owner, is a Certified Master Pastry Chef (Germany) and makes all the chocolate in house. He has the couverture blended to spec by several chocolate manufacturers and has plans in the works to roast his own pods and conch and refine his own blends. He's serious and it shows in the work. I bought a box of a dozen truffles and -I'm not sure what to call them- squares? Coins? Some of them were not to my taste, but they were all superbly rendered with no obvious grit in the couverture or ganache, just barely melting to skin temperature (ca. 93 degrees F) and rapidly melting on the tongue
( ca. 96 degrees F). One of them was a standout that made me wish I'd bought more: a dark milk chocolate couverture wrapped around viscous caramel and napped with a bit of sea salt.

Damn it was good.

>Eclat Chocolate<

4 comments:

Tags said...

Definitely worth driving the entire length of West Chester Pike to get to. And back. And forth. And back. Where am I again?

I'm still lucky I don't have to drive far to Le Petit Mitron in Narberth (best chocolate almond croissants anywhere near here, ask Chris) or Pig Daddy's in Drexel Hill.

And of course, I just walk up my street to the El, ride to 11th St in Philly, and get Termini Bros torrone at the Terminal Market.

Anonymous said...

Left-brain response: Impressive credentials pour Le Chocolatier. Your description left me wondering if -

a) You'd go back.
b) You'd share your bounty with the heretofore previously denied family members.
c) Whether or not dark chocolate was part of this dozen.
d) Whether or not there are any artisinal chocolatiers in L.A. Research to follow.

Right-brain response:

What hath Le Chocolatier wrought? Fast forward three months from now. Will we locate you smeared with chocolate, locked in closets with tell-tale empty boxes, candy wrappers, and ATM purchase receipts at your feet, looking to the Heavens and crying, "I'm so weak! Deliver me from my grit-free Ganache mistress???"

Left-brain: Those machines sound great - bet they're expensive and hard to find.

Jennie/Tikka

gary said...

Jennie/Tikka,

I haven't been in LA in ages -- but the best chocolate I ever had in NYC was from Kron (with an umlaut over the "o") Chocolatier. The chocolatier, himself, retired some years ago -- but his wife has reopened the business in LA. It's now simply called k (with an umlaut over the "k"). I would would definitely try it if I happened to be in LA (in fact, just thinking about it has sent me looking into the cost of a quick flight...).

Sarah said...

tags - if you're close to narberth, you might be closer to a location in philadelphia that sells Eclat.

Fork, etc. on Market and 3rd sells Chris' chocolates. Chris is a great guy, and the staff at Fork, etc. is super nice.