Chocolate means something to everyone. Some see its history in
international trade. Others, like the avid Cosmo reader, celebrate
its aphrodisiac qualities. My little sister, with a devilish
twinkle in her eye, used to demand “something
delicious” and expected a chocolate response. Scott
Huckestein and his wife, Dianna, co-owners of Schakolad, recognize
chocolate’s special power to please.
Schakolad began as a family chocolate shop in Argentina, before
moving to the United States and becoming a franchised company. The
boutique differentiates itself by offering European-style
chocolates made in the store. Huckestein explains that
“European-style chocolate” means a higher cocoa content
and less sugar. There are no preservatives in the confections which
are hand-made daily in the Schakolad chocolate factory.
A grandiose interior, with a ceiling of exposed painted piping
reinforces the “factory” feel of the store but
doesn’t provide an intimate environment. The initial
sterility of the store should not deter customers, who will be
tempted by the sweets behind the counter.
Schakolad’s largest display cases boast chocolate
creations such as truffles, clusters and chocolate-covered fruit
and pretzels priced at $25 per pound.
Rich truffles abound in dark, milk and white chocolate,
including Huckestein’s favorite, the raspberry truffle. Made
of dark chocolate, this truffle strikes a delicate balance between
the slightly bitter dark chocolate and the sweet fruit.
Very loyal to my preference for dark chocolate, my personal
favorite is the Jamaican Rum dark chocolate truffle. The
intoxicating richness of dark chocolate and spiced rum create a
decadent treat that leaves a delightful complexity that lingers
after the truffle itself has melted away.
For the nut lover, clusters are the clear choice. Cashew,
almond, pistachio, hazelnut, macadamia nut, pecan and peanut
clusters are enrobed in milk or dark chocolate. If nuts are not
your passion, and truffles are too rich for you, check out the
chocolate-covered fruits. Candied slices of peach, pear, pineapple
and orange are hand dipped in chocolate along with whole cherries
A number of sugarfree options are available.
For those troubled souls who don’t enjoy good chocolate,
the Almond Toffee provides a delicious alternative. Nutty and
crunchy, the toffee has a markedly different texture than the
smooth chocolate but the buttery richness is equally
Schakolad’s chocolate is not limited to bite-sized
morsels. Chocolate can also be poured into one of the various molds
available — ranging from a stiletto high heel to golf clubs
to a picture frame, or an edible box that can be filled with
chocolates. With a little bit of advanced notice, custom molds can
be made to create a personalized gift.
Melting chocolate, perfect for fondue, is sold for five dollars
per pound, in the dark, milk and white chocolate varieties.
In addition to solid chocolate creations, Schakolad offers a
number of hot beverages to combat the rapidly approaching winter
days such as Fair Trade coffee, the signature
“Schako-Latte” hot chocolate and hot caramel apple
Don’t be fooled, the Schako-Latte contains no espresso,
only milk and chocolate, and reminds us, unlike its watery
counterparts, what hot chocolate should taste like. Served at a
wonderful temperature that will not burn your tongue, the satiating
drink has a smooth and continuous flavor revealing the rich and
intricate flavor of real chocolate. However sensational the drink,
the Dixie take-away cup did not earn any presentation points.
Nor did the barren cafe area where I enjoyed my Schako-Latte.
Such a delicious and comforting beverage deserves a cozier
atmosphere. Four cafe tables, stranded between stark white walls,
are set upon artificial wood flooring and seem out of place.
Overstuffed chairs or couches and a better lighting scheme would
greatly improve the ambiance. Buy your chocolate to go and enjoy it
in the comfort of your own home.
Schakolad is located at 110 E. Washington St. Open
Monday-Wednesday 9a.m.-9p.m., Thursday –Saturday 9am-10pm and