Aaahhhhh, Chocolate. Just the word gets our salivary glands going and our heart skipping beats. This dark, rich, creamy substance has long been considered an aphrodisiac and in recent years has been touted as having certain health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks. In some cases, chocolate is just another way of saying, “I love you,” or “I’m sorry,” or “Yes he is a jerk, I know how you feel.” A few bites of chocolate and he becomes a faded memory. As Charles Schultze so rightfully put it, “All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Believe it or not, that decadent chocolate truffle that you are slowly savoring bit by bit, began as a seed inside a pod on the Cacao tree, generally found in the tropics. Once harvested they are sent to chocolate factories around the world, where they are ground, pressed, heated and stirred into becoming that dreamy substance. Many people feel that a fine chocolate is like a fine wine, aged to perfection and capable of transforming the palate. In fact, chocolate tastings are becoming more and more popular as social events.
As a gift, chocolate says a lot and depending on how loud you want to say it, the gift can cost anywhere from 99 cents for a bag of the iconic M&M’s to thousands of dollars for a piece of chocolate complete with crystals and gold. Chocolatiers are constantly coming up with new ideas, designs and products and may launch brand new collections while phasing out others, much like a fashion designer. The list below represents some of the most expensive boxed chocolates currently available on the market. Take a look and then, eat your heart out!
10. DeLafee’s Truffles with Pure Gold: $130.00
What can be better than the two most luxurious items in the world blended together, gold and chocolate? This box comes with eight truffles made from grand Cru chocolate from Ecuador accented with edible gold. Founded in Switzerland in 2004, DeLafee has also developed other luxury products such as champagne, tea and cigars all featuring their trademark edible gold. This has garnered them many loyal clients as well as a write up in a 2005 edition of Forbes Magazine.
9. Patchi Japanese Garden: $148.00
This cleverly designed box features four drawers that pull out in different directions resembling a Japanese garden when all are open. Wrapped in a pleasing color of a springtime green, the box contains four trays of 25 chocolates and includes an assortment of milk chocolate with pralines, orange peel, hazel nut and raisins. Established in 1974, Patchi is known for it’s superior chocolate and unprecedented unique designs. They use no preservatives, no artificial flavors and no vegetable oil in their chocolate, only the finest of cocoa butter.
8. Godiva Royal Collection: $165.00
Perhaps one of the most loved chocolate purveyors of all time, Godiva began over 75 years ago as a small praline making business. They have a best seller here with their 140 piece Gold Ballotin assortment box wrapped in their signature gold and brown ribbon. This box is the ultimate Godiva assortment with dark, milk and white chocolates with decadent fillings such as rich caramels, cream ganache and a variety of fruits. With a total of 140 pieces, this box is sure to wow any chocolate fanatic.
7. Pierre Marcolini Four Tray Box: $195.00
Pierre Marcolini opened his first chocolate shop in Brussels, in 1995. Once a world famous pastry chef, he used his expertise and experience to rise through the ranks of famous chocolatiers. Well-known for his amazing creativity, his creations are one of a kind, and though only six grams a piece, pack a huge punch of flavor. His use of unique fruits such as black currant and melons as well as rare ingredients like pepper chestnut, tonka beans and patchouli make each of his chocolates a one of a kind experience. This price is based on his concept of building your own box, by picking the size and the chocolates to be included inside. This is the four tray box which holds over 80 chocolates.
6. Vosges Haute Hunger Game Truffles: $225.00
Vosges Haut-Chocolat, a Chicago based company known for infusing chocolate with obscure flavors such as wasabi and even mushrooms was chosen by Lionsgate Movie Studio to come up with a collection to coincide with the release of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This special edition includes 18 different truffles (two of each,) with varying shapes, textures and color. Coconut and banana are combined with chocolate and then rolled together in coconut charcoal ash. Also included in this unbelievable box is a white chocolate infused with rosemary and pink peppercorn as well as deeply dark chocolate combined with big chunky walnuts. This one is truly to die for and is a limited edition.
5. Knipschildt La Madeline au Truffle: $250.00
Though only one chocolate is in the box, this is one expensive and luxurious bite. This incredible truffle starts with dark chocolate, heavy cream, sugar and truffle oil. Completely decadent, this mixture surrounds a rare French Perigord truffle(the mushroom type), which is then surrounded again by chocolate and rolled in cocoa powder. Lay this gently into a silver box lined with sugar pearls and then wrapped with silk ribbon and this is one over the top piece of chocolate! The Knipschildt Chocolatier was founded in 1999 by Danish chef, Fritz Knipschildt. All orders are made as special orders so be sure and call ahead for that special occasion.
4. House of Grauer Aficionado Magnum Collection: $275.00
House of Grauer has a very interesting concept. They designed their chocolates specifically to complement a fine cigar, feeling that each one brings out the best of the other. The Magnum collection combines the aromas of 14 specially devised chocolates made to enhance the pairing of cigar and chocolate. This box contains 104 individual pieces and is billed as the perfect thing for an evening at your favorite cigar club.
3. DeBauve and Gallais Le Royale Collection: $650.00
DeBauve and Gallais is a traditional chocolatier, headquartered in Paris, France where they have been in business for over 200 years. This company was originally appointed the official chocolatier of Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Phillipe. This is their finest bonbon assortment, exclusively available to only royalty before 1913, when it then became available to the public. They were also a favorite among Russian Czars who paired their exquisite dark chocolate with strong vodkas. There box comes with a large assortment of bonbons, caramels and small bars.
2. Richart Petits: $850.00
If you are looking for the box of chocolate that will totally amaze and boggle the mind, this one is it. This hand crafted burl wood vault is made in France by a seasoned artisan. Seventeen layers of coating are applied to the vault and it takes up to four months to create. Inside you will find seven drawers filled with chocolate, each dedicated to a single aromatic family of balsam, roasted, citrus, fruity, herbal, spicy or floral. Richart petits weigh only four grams, and with each being only 15 calories, feel no guilt as you sample each one. This is the perfect surprise to bring out at the end of a gourmet dinner party or wine tasting.
1. Swarovski – Harrods Chocolate: $10,000.00
Patchi and Harrods have joined forces to produce these amazing chocolates that are studded with Swarovski crystals. Made for the client looking for both the extreme and the exotic, these will be sold in Harrod’s as part of the “High Life” collection. This box will contain 49 pieces, hand wrapped in Indian silk and and placed on suede leather with platinum and gold dividers. Each piece is a adorned with gold, a silk rose and the piece de resistance, a Swarovski crystal. A spokesman for Harrods says that “A number of our customers have actually asked for a product such as this that has the wow factor”, which is something they definitely provided,
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