Saturday, March 1, 2008

Charles Chocolates

I wish I lived in San Francisco. They are a great chocolate city. I live in the boonies where Hershey’s Cacao Reserve is the best I can get. Hershey’s really isn’t the worst, but I crave something better and filled with interesting flavors.

The closest big city I have is Boston, and one of its only fine chocolate shops picked up and moved to San Francisco! I have to say, that hurt.

So I tend to order good chocolates online from time to time.

This particular time I ordered from Charles Chocolates ( It was the first time I ordered from them. Where are they from? Take a guess. Just one guess.

Scroll down while you guess . . .

You probably guessed right. San Francisco area. It’s actually across the bay in Emeryville. They do sell things across the country, but it probably won’t be their full line. I know that they sell things in Whole Foods and my favorite place, Cardullo’s in Cambridge. But it is a limited number of items.

I was exploring the Web site and I noticed the most brilliant idea they had listed. It's the PMS Collection! Ha ha ha! That's totally awesome. They send chocolates each month and you have to sign up for a certain number of months.

It was a day or two after Valentine’s Day when I decided to order some chocolates. Lucky me, they had their Valentines collections on sale! I ordered a large heart assortment that was originally $62 but post-valentine’s day it was $42. Oh, and I liked that they didn’t force me to ship using the most expensive way. I chose 3-day shipping – significantly less expensive. And since it’s winter in most parts of the country, I didn’t worry about packaging or melting.

I got a new camera, but the box was half-gone when I brought it home, so you can’t see all of the little yummies. Gone are the little nut clusters in dark and milk chocolate. I liked their small size, and they were totally delicious! Also gone were the silver hearts and the delicious fleur de sel caramels.

It took a long time to figure out exactly what I was eating. I personally think that every box of chocolates should have a little key to tell me what I’m eating. I had to do a lot of research – they didn’t make it easy. Here’s what I came up with:

Poire William Milk Chocolate Caramel

Their Web site describes these as "a rich milk chocolate caramel ganache in a 65% bittersweet circle with a splash of Poire William Liquor." It was buttery and sweet. I love the hint of the liquor.

Peanut Butter Butterflies

These were good, but so are Reese's cups. Call me crazy, but I might even prefer the Reese's cups. When I'm spending large amounts of money on chocolates, I would prefer to avoid these.


Wow! These are awesome. It was a chocolate center, but it was super soft and silky - almost as soft as the caramels. I'm glad there were two!

Honey, Lavender, Mint (not pictured) and Earl Grey

I had the mint one. It looked like these, but it didn't have a chocolate stripe going across it. The mint flavor wasn't overly sweet. It seemed like it was just picked out of the garden. It also seemed somewhat peppery, though the description didn't mention pepper.

I still haven't eaten the ones in the picture.


The different marzipan chocolates were flavored with either orange or lemon. It was very pleasant.


It had very dark chocolate on the outside and a dense chocolate ganache inside. I tasted the ginger, but I wish the flavor was a little stronger.

Raspberry Ganache

The chocolate was light and fluffy. The flavoring was perfect. I wouldn't mind having an entire box of these.

I may get some Charles chocolates again sometime. There were things that I really liked, and some that I didn't care that much for. I think I would buy more specific items rather than an assortment. Also, I'd buy them if I saw them in a store and wouldn't have to pay shipping.

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