Minneapolis's own precious private treats, Brian McElrath's chocolates are the perfect little vacations on cloudy afternoons: Zinfandel-balsamic-vinegar truffles conjure up a nighttime picnic by a dark river; jasmine tea palets invoke flowery gardens in early spring; the cardamom flavors in the Scandinavian truffle are Christmas under Northern lights. Yet all this glory originates from the very spot where Wheaties were perfected--McElrath's space in the old General Mills research building on East Hennepin. Think globally, chocolate locally. (McElrath does not sell his chocolates directly to the public; they are available at, among other places, Cooks of Crocus Hill, 877 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, (651) 228-1333.)


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