If you’re not a big fan of alcohol, you can still go bar hopping – chocolate bar hopping, that is. And not just bars, but all sorts of delicious and creamy chocolate concoctions.
While many people think of Switzerland and Belgium when it comes to places to find premium chocolates, some of the best of these delicacies can be found right here in New Jersey.
Enjou Chocolat - Morristown
“We're using the same recipes that we've been using for 40 years,” says owner Wendy Taffett. “We use the best ingredients, everything is made in-house and is fresh. The fresher the chocolate is, the better it tastes.”
While there’s always a great assortment of chocolates available on display, including truffles, almond buttercrunch and chocolate caramel apples, special orders are also welcome for everything from Rubik’s Cubes and chocolate giraffes to baby shower favors, birthday gift bags, and anniversary presents. Or, if customers want to make sure they can get a particular favorite, they can order those as well.
Its biggest sellers are chocolate-covered Oreos, chocolate-covered pretzels, and sea salt caramels. “What we do and have been doing for a number of years is making edible containers,” she says. “Those are then filled with other chocolates, which are really, really special. Nothing is left but lots of smiles.”
For Valentine’s Day, Enjou Chocolat will have chocolate champagne glasses filled with truffles and heart-shaped chocolate boxes. And of course, chocolate-covered strawberries. “We're a tradition in people's families for all the different holidays,” says Wendy.
She adds, “When people come here, I want them to feel very happy and forget everything that may be wrong. This is what we try to do for everybody every day and what I've been trying to do since I started out in 1986. Sweetness and chocolate make everybody feel better.”
Zigarelli Chocolates – East Hanover
Rosalie Genarelli, nee Zigarelli, and husband Al bought the business in 2002 from her uncle who had purchased it from a little old German woman in 1965. She made him promise to carry on her chocolate recipe, which he did with some tweaks here and there.
There are many different assortments of chocolates including raspberry creams, dark chocolate with sea salt caramel, and almond bark. “We also offer a lot of unique items,” says Rosalie. “For Valentine’s Day, we make a little heart dish out of chocolate and in those we put our handmade nonpareils, so you can eat the whole thing.” The shop usually has three or four different colored nonpareils for every season.
For Christmas, she says, they use Christmas tree molds and fill these with eight or nine truffles so that they look like balls on the tree. “At Easter, we use antique molds that have been passed down from generation to generation. They're metal and very heavy. One of them is an egg mold and we roast and chop up hazelnuts to make hazelnut eggs. Nobody really has these and people come from all over to get them.” These eggs are wrapped in various pastel-colored foils and people love to put them on their tables and in Easter baskets.
Rosalie calls Zigarelli Chocolates a hidden gem. “We're kind of hard to find, but when you do find us, you always come back.”
“We use the best ingredients. The fresher the chocolate is, the better it tastes.”