Exploring the seasonal wonders of Raleigh's Escazu Chocolates | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Exploring the seasonal wonders of Raleigh's Escazu Chocolates 

Escazu chocolate

Photo by Jeremy M. Lange

Escazu chocolate

A tiny ghost haunts the small space of Raleigh chocolatier Escazú. Grape-size and glossy white, with a zigzag mouth, it has to be captured quickly before it disappears forever—or perhaps for a year.

Actually, any of the shop's chocolates, ghoulish or not, are prone to vanish; such is the reality of an artisanal kitchen. With its "bean-to-bar" mission, Escazú is about as artisanal as it gets. Hallot Parson uses an antique stone grinder to turn cacao beans into chocolate, which Danielle Centeno then turns into various confections, like my beloved white chocolate ghost, whose tummy is filled with salty pistachio butter. From painting to filling to capping, each item takes multiple days to make. In other words, if someone snags the last piece of a particular confection before you walk in the door, you will have to give up on the ghost for a few days at least.

Since Escazú opened in 2008, it has accumulated hundreds of flavors available for rotation. This summer, for instance, the staff experimented with garden-grown hot peppers and fresh herbs. When the leaves started to fade from green to gold, I swung by to taste the autumnal options. Don't miss these.

Pumpkin Spice: Cinnamon, clove and nutmeg accentuate a caramel-enriched pumpkin puree in a shimmering orange-hued shell.

Juniper Berry: "If you don't like gin," says Centeno, "you won't like this." I love that and this. The ganache is infused unabashedly with juniper berry, bits of which fleck the center like confetti.

Sweet Potato Vodka Molasses: I don't, however, like vodka. Still, I relished this drunk confection, made with North Carolina-distilled Covington. Subtly sweet and very strong, it's not kid-friendly.

Caramel Apple: I'll take this over a caramel apple. A jammy center conjures cinnamon-scented applesauce before hitting you with bitter caramel.

Pecan Pie: Made with Big Spoon's peanut-pecan butter and dark molasses, this crunchy concoction feels like Thanksgiving dinner in the world's littlest candy bar.

Maple Nutmeg Caramel: Get a box of this gooey, drippy and dark delight. Put on a thick sweater. Go to a snowy cabin. Snuggle in front of a fireplace.

Maple Orange: Bright, brazen citrus notes make this a must-try for all lovers of marmalade and curd.

The Ghost: My favorite. This whimsical chocolate turns into a snowman for Christmas, a heart for Valentine's Day and a bunny for Easter. I celebrate none of these holidays, but I will collect their mascots.

If you're craving a particular flavor, call ahead and see if it's in stock. Or, as Parson says with a smile, "You'll just have to come in more frequently."

Eat This is a recurring column about great new dishes and drinks. Had something you loved? Email food@indyweek.com.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

A great little family Italian restaurant. Good menu. Quiet setting. Good service. …

by Anthony Dean Morgan on Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant (Durham County)

The Refectory is no longer on the Duke Campus. Their new, permanent location is on Chapel Hill Blvd, and yes …

by Beth Owl's Daughter on The Refectory Cafe (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

This is what community is FOR! Many thanks to Ms. Miel.

by Anne Havisham on A Durham Crowdfunding Campaign Still Needs $50,000 to Pay Down Student Lunch Debt (Food Feature)

@irene_krys We apologize for not catching that. The link is now in the story.

https://www.gofundme.com/pay-down-durham-s…

by victoria_foodeditor on A Durham Crowdfunding Campaign Still Needs $50,000 to Pay Down Student Lunch Debt (Food Feature)

Why in the world would you post something like this, with that headline, and NOT give the link for contributions?

by irene_krys on A Durham Crowdfunding Campaign Still Needs $50,000 to Pay Down Student Lunch Debt (Food Feature)

Sad to see the lie repeated that U.S. citizens won't do the work. Yes they will if the employer pays …

by citizenshame on The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are under Threat (Food Feature)

In a state where minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, there is always a waiting list for jobs at Butterball. …

by easternnc on The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are under Threat (Food Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation