Remember Legacy Chocolates, from the artisanal chocolatier/farmer who had a little storefront on Marshall Avenue where they sold the city's finest handmade chocolate truffles along with their locally grown Highland cattle grass-fed beef? (Only in Minnesota, right?)
They hand-dipped their truffles using only the finest single-origin Mexican and South American dark chocolates before that was a thing, before anyone knew the difference between 85 percent cacao and a Hershey's kiss, or why it mattered.
It's safe to say they were ahead of their time, and they went away quietly after four years (though they still had a shop in Menomonie, Wisconsin).
Well now, just as quietly, they're back and better than ever.
While no longer owned by founder Michael Roberts, Legacy is still kicking under the stewardship of owner Lorraine Dixon. When Roberts closed doors in 2009, the recession was nigh, and evidently, Minnesotans found artisanal chocolate to be a luxury.
But now we know better, don't we? We know that fine dark chocolate is not just some child's play, but instead a superfood with health benefits from lowering cholesterol to reducing the incidence of heart disease to Alzheimer's prevention and on and on.
Hell, it's so beneficial that we can't really afford not to eat it, and it's the treat of choice for those in the know. A few organic, artisanal chocolate bars broken up and tossed on the table at the end of the wine party is really the only way to serve dessert these days. Really.
So their truffles are a no-brainer -- buy them singly, or in boxes of 6, 12, or 24. They're only a couple bucks each, a relative marketplace bargain considering the quality. They come in mint, espresso, caramel, caramel pecan, almond, classic, Himalayan caramel, and raspberry, as well as specialty and seasonal flavors -- inquire about those when visiting the store.
But then they've got a bunch of other stuff that puts chocolate gift giving -- and hoarding for oneself -- in fetishistic territory.
Like their Potion #9 Chocolate Sauce, sort of an all-purpose, well, potion, made out of that Criollo cocoa and fresh cream and butter. Put it on ice cream, in coffee, drizzle it on strawberries. Valentine's Day is coming up, so put it wherever you like, just don't tell us about it.
Or the Sipping Chocolate, which has got to be the path of least resistance toward getting your antioxidants -- put it over ice, heat it and have it like hot chocolate, make a cocktail by adding some liquor, put it in coffee, add cream, or just chug it out of the bottle after a run. It's your world.
They've got a cold-press mocha concentrate to bring ecstasy to any coffee drinker. And, while you're shopping in the store, order a cup of their pour over coffee.
Oh, you can also buy a faux chinchilla apron. Just because. ($39.95)
We'd say your Valentine's Day is pretty sealed up. You take it from here.
Find Legacy in downtown St. Paul, in the historic Pioneer Building on the corner of Robert Street and East Fourth Street.
CORRECTION: Legacy Chocolates is no longer owned by Michael Roberts. The new owner is Lorraine Dixon, and they no longer exclusively use Mexican, South American, or Criollo chocolate. We apologize for the errors.
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