This is Marie, whose usual contribution to the blog is to order something my husband didn’t so he can get menu envy, or to describe some experiment that made it to the dinner table and turned out well. This time the reason I am departing from tradition (and so soon after last time!) is to discuss a subject very dear to my heart: chocolate. Specifically, a wonderful little Asheville, NC business called The Chocolate Fetish.
I first heard about the place when looking for interesting things to do in Asheville on our honeymoon trip, as that town was one of the stops. We had planned a peaceful little shopping/eating visit to end our marathon multi-state honeymoon, and were surprised by a music festival instead. We had to chuck several of the items on our agenda for that trip because of the agreeable distraction, and the chocolate store might possibly have been a victim of the cut if it hadn’t happened to be practically across the street from one of the non-negotiable items on the itinerary (Malaprop’s, which although a bookstore, is nevertheless a possible entry — or at least side bar — in this blog if we can ever tear ourselves away from the books long enough to sample the pastries at the coffee bar).
I am very glad we stepped in. In fact, this store has joined the favored list. On our last visit, we went twice. Well, I did. Inexplicably, my husband was able to resist the urge to buy anything for himself. Perhaps the explanation might have something to do with my tendency to share.
The Chocolate Fetish is a lovely little place right in the middle of the charming Asheville downtown area, and has recently expanded to add more than twice the floor space. As the staff acknowledged, the prior layout was a little cramped and difficult to negotiate when crowded. The quality of their products is simply amazing, and despite the name none of the items available are in saucy shapes.
The absolute best item they have is the sea salt caramels. The store offers a wonderful package with a variety of sea salts in a mixed box of dark and milk chocolate coated caramels. We spoke to the (delightfully chatty) shipping manager, and he said in the years they have been sending their products around the country, they only lost a couple of packages to melting, and one of those was sent to Phoenix, Arizona. You should be safe ordering one of these for your very own even in summer, and it’s highly recommended that you do so. You can taste the different flavorings of the various kinds of salt from one candy to the next. The chocolate itself is freshly made on location. It is beautifully smooth, sweet with just the right touch of bitterness, and the taste lingers well in the mouth.
The other best thing they have is the chocolate strawberries. Those are perfect in every way, though I recommend the dark chocolate again over the milk, just because I’m biased that way. Milk chocolate is a very good thing and often on my shopping list, but the dark chocolate from this store is so wonderful it’s just a shame to dilute it. The strawberries are worthy of their coating as well, bigger than golf balls and dangerously juicy. If one of these won’t make you roll your eyes back in your head and sigh, there is no hope for you!
These are just my opinion; the store has quite a number of best things. The reviews and awards they have earned have been for truffles. Now, I can’t eat more than one truffle every couple of weeks at most. Caramels and chocolate strawberries can be consumed every day–for as long as they last, anyway. Your opinion about which item on their list is best is quite probably different from mine. Perhaps you would like the key lime truffle, or the chocolate covered marshmallows (good quality stuff, not grocery store cotton balls). Perhaps you like chocolate covered orange peel. Whatever your weakness, make sure to order some of it. Odds are you’ll be planning a visit to Asheville, NC not long after your first bite.
Other blog posts about the Chocolate Fetish: