New Hampshire Winter Fun | L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
Photo Credit : Taylor Thomas
Let’s face it. As hard as we may try to fight it, the occasional and impossible-to-ignore chocolate craving sets in. Luckily for us, the award-winning L.A. Burdick Chocolate has three New England locations to help us satisfy our cravings for chocolate and other sweets.
In the 1970s, Larry Burdick’s love for France led him to Paris, and from there, eventually to Switzerland. While in Europe, he developed a passion and appreciation for fine cuisine and, of course, chocolate. In the late 1980s, when Larry returned from Switzerland, he put the skills and knowledge he acquired abroad to good use. The first L.A. Burdick Chocolate opened in New York City in 1987. Five years later, he and his family moved the business to Walpole, New Hampshire. There are now four L.A. Burdick locations, including those in Boston and Cambridge.
One sunny, spring afternoon, my roommates and I took the drive up Route 12 to the small town of Walpole, where L.A. Burdick is located next to the post office and across the street from a church. The chocolate shop, tea room, and attached restaurant all have an elegant, French-inspired feel.
At L.A. Burdick, they import high-quality chocolate – made with cocoa beans from South and Central America and the Caribbean – from Switzerland, France, and Venezuela. They never use extracts, concentrates or artificial flavorings. The delicious aroma in the shop, along with the endless selection of chocolates, made me realize that deciding how to satisfy my chocolate craving was going to be no easy task.
Among all the treats offered at the chocolate shop, one of the most popular is their chocolate mice, inspired by Larry’s time abroad. While in Bern, Switzerland, Larry worked at a chocolate shop where they used the excess ganache and yarn to rework the chocolate into adorable treats for children. Now, Larry recreates these hand-decorated mice using their fresh ingredients and top-notch chocolate. The success of the chocolate mouse has also led to the creation of other chocolate creatures, such as the penguin and honey bee.
Their mouse-shaped chocolates aren’t just cute, they’re also award-winning. In 2013 L.A. Burdick’s white chocolate mouse won silver in the “mixed dark, milk or white – ganaches and truffles” category in the International Chocolate Awards, a competition designed to recognize the best fine-quality chocolate from around the world.
If you can’t choose between a chocolate bonbon or bar, the option to drink your chocolate might make the decision even more difficult. The Tea Room at L.A. Burdick gives guests the opporunity to drink their chocolate and offers white, milk, and dark chocolate hot chocolate or “cold hot chocolate.” Amongst their wide variety of Drinking Chocolate they also offer single-source chocolate drinks. For those looking for a pick-me-up, they have a selection of coffees and teas as well. If you’d rather drink your chocolate at home, no worries! You can buy L.A. Burdick’s Drinking Chocolate by the bag and save it for later.
Along with chocolate and beverages, at L.A. Burdick you can also find pastries, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, and other confections.
Of course, I couldn’t pick just one thing while surrounded by so many delicious options, so I got a chocolate drink and a chocolate bonbon. It was the perfect combination: dark chocolate “cold hot chocolate” with almond milk and a dark salted caramel. I will admit, it was melt-in-your-mouth good, creamy, smooth, and sweet with perfect balance of salt.
Although L.A. Burdick is on the expensive side, I justified it with the realization that I was paying for quality, handmade chocolate with all natural flavors and ingredients.
An assortment from L.A. Burdick would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Can’t make it to L.A. Burdick? Shop online, they ship within 2-5 business days domestically and internationally.