Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

Truffles from Smith Organic Chocolates

After last weekend’s Wine and Chocolate Tour in Lancaster, one might think that I’d be tired of  products from  the Theobroma cacao tree.  Never. After I arrived back home, I quickly ordered some spectacular hand-painted chocolate gifts from a stop on the tour, the Wilbur Chocolate Company in Lititz, PA. The chocolate artists there are really busy, so they told me to order early for Easter.   Can’t tell you what I ordered. It would ruin my Easter surprise.

Talented Kathy Blankenbiller hand paints beautiful chocolate treasures at Wilbur Chocolates

Then the next day,  I took a  drive out to the small town of Trafford to Sherm Edwards Candies.  I read about this company in a little book from the Carnegie library called Pennsylvania Snacks:  A Guide to Food Factory Tours by Sharon Hernes Silverman.  This book is my idea of a page-turner.  Annoyed that a chocolate factory existed that I didn’t know about, I hopped in the car, picked up my friend Debbi and off we went to check it out.     The shop sells both Sherm Edwards and Edward Marc chocolates,  has a huge variety of Easter candy and  outlet prices on the Edward Marc line. (I first discovered Edward Marc Chocolatier at The Milkshake Factory on the South Side.) They had chocolate airplanes, ballerinas, computers and cellphones in addition to the traditional bunnies and chicks. And all sorts of beautiful gourmet chocolates.  Kimberly  gave us a quick tour of the facility where they were making chocolate covered cherries. So much handiwork goes into each batch of chocolates here.  I was impressed.

Can there ever be enough chocolate in my life?

Next stop on my personal chocolate tour?  Wilson’s Candies (408 Harrison Ave,  Jeanette. 724-523-3151). I found out about Wilson’s after  I stopped a candy shop in Ligonier and asked about locally made chocolates. I was shown some  dark chocolate apricot creams – I love apricots – and the  told me they were from Jeanette, but she didn’t want to divulge the name of the company that made these goodies. I bought some of the creams and then went home to investigate with my good friend, Ms. Google.  Ha ha. I found it.  Wilson’s Candies  has been in business for over 60 years in the small town of Jeanette and gets rave review on the internet.  All their chocolates are made in the basement, just like at Sherm Edwards/Edward Marc.  They had the apricot creams that I bought in Ligonier, but also have lots of Easter candy. One of their specialties are cordials – cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Raspberry cordials? Never heard of that one. Of course, I had to give them a try.  Believe me, they are luscious.  You can see one of the berry cordials oozing onto the plate in the photo above.  Fruit and chocolate. The best.

So much chocolate, so little time.