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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions aka Chocolate Thoughts . . .

from Chief Chocolate Officer, Tina Buck

Why do you only make truffles?
For a few reasons: first, most chocolate connoisseurs consider truffles to be the crème de la crème of the chocolate world, so I figured I’d start at the top. Second, I believe in doing fewer things better. We will eventually have other items, but I won’t introduce anything until it’s perfect, and that can be a long process. Even though we’ve been in business for over 17 years, we still have our hands full just keeping up with demand for our truffles! And finally, keeping things simple allows us to stay focused on making the most extraordinary truffles ever.
Is that why you don’t do custom boxes?
Yep, that's one reason. The law requires that we have accurate ingredients statements on the box. For us to create an accurate label for every possible combination, just isn't feasible. Limiting the options a bit allows us to keep our eyes on the prize: freshness and quality. Because our truffles are completely handmade and so labor intensive, we simply have to, or our truffles would taste like . . . well . . . other companies’ truffles.
Why are your truffles so expensive?
Actually, I don’t think they are, but like anything else, there are less expensive brands and more expensive brands. Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes not. I believe that at The Chocolate Garden you do. Our truffles are completely handmade, right here on the premises. They are very labor intensive and everything we do is about freshness and quality. Nothing is about efficiency. Our truffles take 2 days to make and we don’t cut corners. I will never sacrifice the decadent, creamy texture or sumptuous taste of our truffles to lower the price. I also won’t hike up the price so I can put them on sale. My whole philosophy in creating this product and this company is to be honest, real, have integrity and do the extraordinary!
Why don’t you have free samples in your shop?
We do sample occasionally. However, if we made it a daily practice, we’d have to raise our prices, because no sample is really free, after all. But more importantly, we have a hard enough time making our truffles fast enough to meet demand as it is. If we gave them away, we’d never keep up! That's why we added the Tasting Bar in our shop in 2011. For a small fee, you get to pick any 3 of our 26 different truffles to taste. That way, you can try before you buy.
Why don’t you list the % cacao on each package and give more hard facts about your truffles?
I believe that eating chocolate should be a joyful and delightful experience, not an intellectual exercise. It should be about what’s going on in your senses and your soul, not what’s going on in your head. I think it’s great that people are learning more about chocolate and what makes it so wonderful, but I want to be careful that we don’t make it about what you "should like" or "should eat". We have too many "shoulds" in our lives already. Let’s keep chocolate out of that arena. We try to give enough information to help guide you in your selection process, but not so much as to take the fun out of it!
Is dark chocolate better than milk chocolate?
No. The only thing that matters is what you like. Dark chocolate has more in the way of health benefits, but I look at that as a bonus.
Is white chocolate real chocolate?
If it starts with the fruit of the Cacao tree, it is. Real white chocolate has exactly the same origins as milk or dark chocolate: the Cacao tree. However, in making white chocolate, the chocolate liquor (the component that gives chocolate its distinctive taste and color) is removed, so naturally, white chocolate is very different. Part of the confusion comes from a product called confectioner’s coating. This is not real chocolate, whether it is white, milk or dark. It substitutes vegetable oil for cocoa butter and that makes it easier to work with than real chocolate and is therefore a more convenient and cheaper substitute. Also, for years, the FDA said white chocolate did not fit their standard of identity for chocolate because the chocolate liquor was removed. However, they have changed their stance on this issue and now recognize white chocolate as a true chocolate.
Does chocolate liquor mean there is alcohol in chocolate?
No, it is the term for what I call the essence of chocolate.

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