Raisinets were always my go-to movie snack (besides popcorn, of course, and that free oil/butter pump at the concession stand…sometimes I wonder how I’m still alive!). They were sweet and chewy and delicious–and of course, there was chocolate involved–but underneath that chocolate were the super-sweet and super-natural goodness of raisins, something my parents had to approve of. If I was going to get any kind of candy at the concession stand, Raisinets were the “healthiest.”
Now that my taste buds have matured a little with age, I know that Raisinets, or any commercial chocolate candy, weren’t really all that. Not like a real, gourmet chocolate covered raisin can be–mmm! Rich, genuine milk chocolate, filled with that creamy cocoa butter and flavoring, covering a grade-A, hand-picked raisin, fresh and never vacuum-dehydrated. There’s something so special about being an adult and going back to the confections and candies you loved as a kid–but chucking the Nestle and finding the high-end versions that are a cut above anything you’ll find in the movie theater.
And when you think “high-end chocolates” in New York City, one of the first names to cross your mind is always Jacques Torres. The Jacques Torres chains of chocolate stores around Manhattan and Brooklyn serve some of the finest chocolates and confections your mind can imagine. The main chocolate “factory” on Hudson Street has been likened to a modern-day Willie Wonka, where you can watch your favorite chocolates being made right on the floor–from cocoa bean to bonbon. And of course, the chocolate man has one of the finest selection of chocolate covered everythings in town, from common peanuts and pretzels to delicious, unconventional confections like chocolate-covered Cheerios and pumpkin seed brittle. You can bet the house that they’ve got chocolate covered raisins, too: only the best California plump raisins are selected for these very special chocolates. And although they’re gourmet and made fresh right on the premesis, with how much movie theater candies cost these days, a bag of Jacques Torres raisins isn’t much more than that king-size box of Raisinets.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
350 Hudson St (between Charlton St & King St)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Of course, slowly but surely, I will start ordering one truffle, maybe two. Then boxes. And then those little $6 bags of chocolate-covered raisins, so that I will have to get a second job to afford my Jacques Torres habit, which was never too much of a problem before because the other locations weren’t as convenient, but now I won’t be able to resist. Oh, the humanity.”–Heather H.
“Oh, my gosh, what an experience. Initially I needed a bib when I walked inside because I’m pretty sure I started to drool. All the items looked out-of-this-world, eye-popping yummy. Once I stumbled unexpectedly upon this place, I immediately wanted chocolate in some form or another. I was lured in like a magnet and instantly astonished by all the cookies, brownies, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered raisins, caramel chocolate popcorn, and more.”–Marcus V.