Chocolate is a worldwide favorite that comes in many delectable forms. In recent years, its healthful benefits have been widely touted and, if you don’t overdo, you no longer have to feel guilty and may indulge and enjoy this elixir of happiness. Chocolate is recession-proof — despite rising prices across the board, — you may give up many things but never your chocolate.
The desert is an oasis to chocolate lovers and the candy shops, restaurants, and bakeries present new and exotic creations to tempt your sweet tooth. Here are some for you to investigate, some have been in the desert many years and others are recent purveyors of this sublime treat:
See’s Candies has been one of America’s favorite candy makers since 1921 and has grown to more than 200 retail shops, with two in the desert, Palm Springs and Palm Desert. Withstanding World Wars and the Great Depression, the family-owned company held fast to its old-fashioned virtues and fine hand-made quality chocolates with various centers, based on the recipes of Mary See (pictured on their box) and added innovations with the changing times including elegant truffles.
You may have lunch at several restaurants that have retail areas showcasing their chocolate delicacies that will make a hit at home. La Quinta Baking Company and The French Corner Café and Bakery in Palm Desert have outstanding pastry chefs who include chocolate in their repertoire. Jennifer’s Kitchen in Rancho Mirage carries a line of gourmet chocolate bars with fun wrappers that make a great gift.
Several charming retail outlets offer quality chocolates to a faithful clientele. Among them are: Café Chocolat of Palm Springs carrying artisinal chocolates including those by Christopher Elbow, Moonstruck, and Diana Phillips, a former art director whose profession was transformed by the chocolatiers of Turin, Italy, and honed at the Ecole LeNotre in Paris. They also carry gourmet delicacies from around the world, all beautifully packaged for gift giving. Palm Springs Fudge and Chocolates, an old-fashioned candy store specializing in legendary combinations of fudge, America’s authentic confection, and hand-dipped chocolates in white and dark chocolate, hand made truffles, and a large collection of sugar-free fudge and chocolates. Ready-to-go gift boxes and baskets available. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at The River in Rancho Mirage is well-known across America and Canada and considers its chocolate the peak of perfection featuring dark, milk, and white chocolate assortments and gourmet desserts available for any event. Palm Springs Candy Company of Cathedral City has been a fixture in the desert for 63 years, formerly known as Fun in the Sun Candies. Specializing in uniquely designed, hand-dipped chocolates including turtles, chocolate dipped dates, fudge and much more, shipped throughout the United States. They also create molded chocolates for special events.
Les Dames d’Escoffier is an organization of women in the culinary field who has been championing chocolate at their yearly fundraiser L’Affaire Chocolat for scholarships in the culinary and hospitality arts. Their mantra is “Life is short, eat dessert first” and they mean chocolate. Author Jacqueline Bachar, a member of Les Dames, owns a company called Under Chocolate Skies and presents creations made of the finest Belgian chocolate available via the Internet. For more information, visit her web site.
Xoçai (shosigh), The Healthy Chocolate, is becoming very popular in the desert. Made from cold-processed Belgian cocoa powder, açai berry, and blueberry. Contains high levels of antioxidants, with no caffeine, preservatives, fillers, waxes, processed sugar, or trans fats. It is diabetic friendly, boosts energy, and tastes great. Distributed by independents, there is much information on the web site.
Eating chocolate is one of the finer things in life. . . indulge!
Café Chocolat of Palm Springs
515 N. Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs CA 92262
French Corner Café and Bakery
72-423 Hwy. 111 (Target Plaza)
Palm Desert, CA 92260
70-225 Hwy. 111
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
La Quinta Baking Company
78-395 Hwy. 111 (Vons Center)
La Quinta, CA 92253
Palm Springs Candy Company
68-845 Perez Rd., Suite H-11
Cathedral City, CA 92234
Palm Springs Fudge & Chocolates
211 S. Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92261
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
71-800 Hwy. 111 (The River)
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
• 144 S. Palm Canyon Dr. (La Plaza)
Palm Springs, CA 92262
• 72-840 Hwy. 111 (Westfield Shopping Town)
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Under Chocolate Skies