I’ve been a foodie my entire life. Growing up in New York City, with its tens of thousands of eateries, coupled with having foreign parents who liked to dine out and try every type of food imaginable, I was exposed to a wide range of cuisines.
Fortunately, I still acquired healthy eating habits, thanks to a mother who also had an organic-only grocery-shopping routine—and this, back when “organic” was still something of a dirty word. My mother’s idea of a sandwich stop was hitting the corner green market for watercress and sprouts with a carrot juice.
This only served to turn me into an anti-processed-food snob—so much so that my own daughter, Bella, announced at the age of 6 that if she’s ever mayor, her first order of business will be to close all the McDonald’s. And she never even saw Super Size Me.
Not surprisingly, I turned to chocolate for comfort, and today, 85 percent cacao bars are a staple in my diet. As a child, I often dreamed of becoming a chocolatier, so I now find myself a bit of a regular at the many chocolate shops that have popped up around the city. This being our Food Issue, I’d like to share some of my favorite sweet treats, to give you fodder for some much-needed breaks during a summer of juicing and healthy eating.
My most beloved is the fresh Champagne truffle from Teuscher of Switzerland. It’s a burst of perfection—no wonder this 60-year-old truffle wins all sorts of best-chocolate-in-the-world contests. Fortunately for me, one of the company’s two NYC locations is within shouting distance of my office at Rock Center.
Maison du Chocolat’s raspberry pulp dark chocolate Salvador ganache is divine, as is its Jolika, an almond paste-filled chocolate with slivers of pistachio. It’s a mouthwatering dream for this half-German marzipan lover. With four NYC locations, including one in the Plaza Hotel’s Todd English Food Hall (see our “Eat Your Heart Out” feature for the city’s top five gourmet food courts, among other culinary treats), you don’t have to go far to find these delicacies.
Vosges, my final favorite, has—quite literally—a chocolate bar, which is filled with revolving flavors like spicy Guajillo and chipotle chilli superdark. It also offers a caramel collection, golden berry and acai dark chocolate bars, as well as the popular bacon and chocolate bars. My kids love the lemon and white chocolate hot cocoa and the towers of Bapchi’s caramel toffee—a box of which makes a great end-of-the-school-year teacher present.
We’ll be back Memorial Day weekend with our sister publication, Beach, which you can pick up in the Hamptons and NYC and online here. Find me on Instagram and Twitter @cristinacuomo for regular city and beach reports. Manhattan will be back in September with a spectacular Fashion Issue.
Here’s to a sweet summer!