St. Croix Chocolate Company: Sweets for the locavore
The St. Croix Chocolate Company has been supplying the river valley with artisan chocolates since 2010. But located somewhat outside the usual foodie sphere of influence, seasonally inspired chocolates with flavors like violet, pear caramel, and wildflower honey initially raised some eyebrows. But let's just say the town of Marine on St. Croix got hooked, and fast. Even when the entire town is buried knee-deep in snow, some brave locals trudge in for their truffle fix. After all, they're only human.
Chocolate sadly doesn't grow outside of the tropics, but owners Robyn Dochterman and Deidre Pope get their ingredients from as many local, organic sources as they can. The milk and cream comes from Crystal Ball Farms in Osceola, the maple syrup from Franconia. And the chocolate itself is selected from single-source, organic, and fair trade companies around the world.
Aside from the St. Croix Chocolate Company's unique yet dangerously addictive flavors and their commitment to the local, sustainable food movement, there's another reason Twin Cities foodies have been fawning over the shop.
Their chocolates are absolutely beautiful.
Open a box and the chocolates look like pristine jewels magically recovered from some ancient Roman shipwreck. In fact, they're almost too pretty to eat. Almost. But you may want want to take a few pictures first to show your foodie friends.
Apparently there would be hell to pay if chocolatier Dochterman phased out some of her customers' favorite flavors. However, she is constantly working on developing new flavors, taking inspiration from her backyard and the St. Croix Valley. This summer's showstoppers include hand-picked strawberry mint, while other flavors are the result of foraging for wild black raspberries, blackberries, and grapes.
It's a lovely time of year to make the trip out to Marine, which is just a bit upriver from Stillwater. There's good news even if you don't make the road trip: The St. Croix
Chocolate Company is selling its chocolates at the Mill City Farmer's Market all summer and fall.
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