February 25 – Chocolate-Covered Nuts Day
Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews–I say, any kind of nut is elevated to the level of “premium snack” when it’s covered in chocolate. (No, not that kind of nut.) And since there are also a number of varieties of chocolate–milk, dark, white, plus the crazy amount of additives you can sprinkle into a chocolate batch–the combination possibilities are limitless. You can go to any supermarket and find the hard, unappealing chocolate covered almonds in plastic tubs near the specialties section, but to really celebrate this food holiday, you’ve got to get your butt into one of the many chocolatiers cropping up around New York. There are a ton to choose from, ranging from traditional to eclectic, frugal to so expensive you’d expect the chocolate to be wrapped in gold. I’ve picked some of the standouts that might make you run for these indulgences and enjoy them today as a delicious snack–or hell, why not the whole meal 😉
Although not actually on Bond Street, you can find some really amazing chocolates and confections if you find your way to Bond Street Chocolates. Lynda Stern doesn’t make your typical bonbons and sweet creme chocolates here: there are chocolates shaped like hearts and other typical things, but there are also gold-leaf Buddhas, African masks, and her signature chocolate skulls. Many of the selections are mixtures of the sweet and savory, chili pepper added to sweets and many things dipped in chocolate you’d never expect. One of which are her chocolate-covered corn nuts (!) The salty, snacky little corn nuts are coated in chocolate powder, the bittersweet chocolate forming an unlikely, yet tasty, pairing. And with such unique flavor combinations, you can be sure every chocolate is made by the chef, in-house, and as fresh as can be. It’s worth a trip even for some window-shopping, but the flavor combinations will definitely get you to shopping for real.
Bond Street Chocolates
63 E 4th St (between Astor Pl & Cooper Sq)
“Bonbons come in flavors as demure as Earl Grey, wild as tequila, and classic as Valrhona. But Lynda’s personality really comes through with some of her other treats: chocolate-covered wasabi peas (spicy!), corn nuts (salty!) and toffee (smokin!)”–The Chocolate Life
“Former pastry chef Lynda Stern creates playful, imaginative chocolates from the lab-like kitchen in the back of her cocoa-colored shop. Various family members man the counter, offering unprompted, earnest recommendations for confections like tequila and whiskey bonbons, tins of chocolate-covered corn nuts, and milk-chocolate bars with caramelized almonds and sea salt.”–New York Magazine
“While bestsellers–tequila, absinthe, passion fruit and elderflower liquor-filled bon bons–are permanently kept in stock, other flavors move in and out: “I’m always changing things because I get bored,” Stern says. One of her newer items is addictive corn nuts coated with milk chocolate powder, which follows other sweet–savory snacks like chocolate-coated wasabi peas or dark-chocolate covered caramels with granular sea salt scattered across.”–Edible Manhattan
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Check out their divine collection (who wouldnt want a mini chocolate jesus figure 🙂 and her other slightly off the wall treats like peppercorn chocolate or chocolate coated corn nuts.”–Victoria G.
“The chocolate covered corn nuts? I think they are? Are delicious as are the chocolate covered candied ginger bits. Her prices are high but not unreasonably high; it is a small specialty business.”–Shae G.