Sunday, November 25, 2007

Glarus Chocolatiers

I did not know about this place, Glarus Chocolatier, a self-proclaimed Swiss chocolatier (Swiss chocolate, mmmm). There are two locations, in Timonium and now in Harbor East, across the street from Whole Foods in that new building they just finished. It says "LAUREATE" on the side, and has a swimming pool on the second floor. You can see it at eye level from the Whole Foods parking garage. It's the weirdest thing!

So I see it after indulging myself with some side dishes and little pieces of cheese that Whole Foods sells (tiny leftover sections of expensive cheeses so that you can get enough of a few tastes to decide if you want a bigger piece in the future; also makes an interesting quiche). I thought it looked strange from a distance - there are what appear to be bookcases in the chocolate-colored chocolatier. Why would a chocolate shop be lined with bookcases? That was enough to intrigue me into coming in. And of course, I saw the shelves lined with chocolate - chocolate bark, specifically, but also with a clever display of a real cacao pod split open, next to a bag of almonds, I didn't look too long so I don't remember).

What kept me there was what the woman behind the counter said to me and the two people who entered ahead of me: they let you try things you're interested in. (SCORE!) Strangely, I didn't pre-sample. There weren't many flavors, and each chocolate is about $1.33, so you can't buy too many without spending tons of your own cacao beans (which I don't have much of after this Thanksgiving).

I got a box of four, which I just realized that, at $6.50, costs more than they do by the piece. I think they charge for the box and the nice wrapping (they even have a little basket of copper bells to tie onto it; next time, I'll just save the woman the trouble - and myself some money - and get them in a bag).

The woman was quite friendly, and when I asked, she told me that they'd only been there for about five weeks. Having not come down to Whole Foods for a while, I realized that this had to be why I haven't seen it yet.

The chocolates I got were lovely visually and taste-wise, but the cost will keep me from coming back too often. This is a place where you should go to buy nice chocolates for that special someone. Of the four I got - and please do eat them at room temperature - m favorite was probably their butter truffle, which looks like a spiky yellow ball, and has a buttery inside. Yum. The others were good, too - the newly-laid out pumpkin truffle had a thick chocolate shell but was richly pumpkin-y, while the kirsch truffle had a really cool sea-saltiness (because it's covered in sea salt, duh) to cut through the sweetness of the chocolate. And I got a non-truffle, the rigi spitz, which is best described as a slightly brandy-flavored chocolate with white chocolate on top. It was good, albeit my least favorite of the four I ate. Next time I may need to try the barks, though they are a bit pricey for me. Still, it's not like I'll eat it all in one sitting, unlike these truffles. Hell, before I was back out of the car I was halfway done the box (which my niece is now using to play with her Charlie Brown dolls).