I’m evidently going through an artisanal chocolate phase–though considering it’s been a decade or so, not sure if that’s actually a phase or a way of life. Either way, I love visiting small towns or scouring the web for outstanding local chocolatiers like Laughing Moon in Stowe, Vermont, Chicago’s addictive Ugly Truffles, or my most recent obsession, Fort Meyers’ Norman Love chocolates. Now, I’ve got another to add to the list: Napa Valley’s Kollar Chocolates. While my thighs are saying “no, bad…” my mouth is saying, “yes please. 18 more, just like that one.”
These gourmet truffles from chef Chris Kollar may come in flavors that sound familiar, but don’t taste like anything you’ve ever had in a mall chain chocolatier. Nor do they look like them, with colorful glossy exteriors that are faceted like chunky jewels or petite canvases for edible artwork.
Flavors include a Vanilla made with a 12-year aged rum, Coconut that comes to life with a white chocolate ganache filling, a subtly delicious Coffee Kahlua Truffle, and the most amazing Crunchy Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate, I could eat a whole box of just these. You’ll also find more surprising flavors like a rich Napa Red Wine (of course), Fennel Pollen that’s sourced from a local orchard, and an Earl Grey Tea with Bergamot Citrus enrobed in a dark chocolate.
They’re so exquisite, notably hard-to-please chef Michael Chiarello commissioned a special box of truffles to commemorate his Bottega GranFondo cycling race earlier this spring. It’s nice to see the Napa foodies taking care of one another.
It’s not all fancy-pants cordials and Poppy Saffron Bars (which looks phenomenal) by the way; I happen to love a gourmet company with a sense of humor and you’ll find it here too. Check out the Kollar Krack or Strawberry Fizz chocolate bark made with Pop Rocks and you’ll see what I mean if you like your chocolate with a hint of childhood camp.
I can think of quite a few gourmet dads in my world who would gladly accept a little–or big–something from Kollar Chocolates this Father’s Day along with the handwritten cards. You weren’t thinking golf tees, were you?