Food Finds: Chocolate Shop in Orange County

Christopher Michael Chocolates, Costa Mesa, CA

My favorite gourmet chocolate store is Oh!Chocolate in Seattle. Family recipes made fresh everyday – what’s not to love? But the thing that keeps me going back (and wishing that the store would open a location in any city I move to) is their drinking chocolate. I have no words for how happy I am when I get that little, dainty cup of smooth, deep warm chocolate and melting vanilla whipped cream. Oh! so good.

Now other chocolate shops  leave me uninspired. Yes, every now and then I meander into See’s Chocolate (mostly for their free sample) and purchase a Bordeaux chocolate; and I will always love the Creme Brulee chocolate from Godiva. My Chicago search for Drinking Chocolate has yielded mediocre results. Vosges is great and boasts some exotic chocolates, but nothing so delicious that I can’t resist frequent visits. Sadly, Orange County chocolate selections are about as exciting as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. So this is why I was excited when Seriouseats posted an article about a Costa Mesa, California chocolatier.

After reading the interview with Chocolate Shop owner Christopher Michael, I’m eager to try his blood orange caramels and even his rendered duck-fat caramels. He says he doesn’t keep up with the trends, but the fact that he keeps a glass of water and dish of pepperocinis on hand when he’s testing new flavor combinations leads me to believe he puts out some creative and daring chocolates.

It seems Christopher Michael has gotten a lot of positive press for his work, and so far visitors to his California store give him 4 1/2 stars on yelp. If you can’t make it to Orange County to sample his chocolates, you can order from his website.

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