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Setting the Easter Table

Posted on March 19, 2013 11:29 AM by Meghan

We have everything you need to build an adorable and delicious Easter gift basket.  But you know that already.     

Let’s talk about the Easter table.

With spring almost here, it’s time to celebrate color!  Remember green grass and pink flowers?  I know, it’s hard to imagine but it is coming. And even though Easter is early this year and in many parts of the country (like here in Vermont) leaves on the trees and flowers in the garden are still a long way off, Easter is the time to start reminding ourselves that yes, indeed, we will see those wonderful sights again.

The Easter table is the ideal place to showcase all the color that will soon be in our lives again and our collection of Easter chocolate this year really captures the color, magic and whimsy of Easter.

Take our chocolate Easter eggs.  Wrapped in gorgeous Italian foils and filled with delectable flavors like caramel, raspberry, and hazelnut, it would be a shame to hide these eggs.  Scatter around the table or fill a glass bowl, the eggs will look stunning, but fair warning- they may not stick around for long!

Then we have our carrot patch with a Tendersweet milk chocolate orange carrot and a Cosmic dark chocolate purple carrot.  Inspired by the bounty of fresh veggies we enjoy at our local farmer’s market every summer, we created our own veggie patch (of sorts.)  Place a carrot at each table setting for your guests; a sweet treat they can enjoy now or for later.

The place setting chocolate bunnies are always a favorite year after year.  Charming and delicious, they are the perfect-sized treat after a large Easter feast.  Place the bunnies in some green grass to make him feel at home.

If you really want to make a statement, Mr. Goodtime Bunny, named “Best-Dressed Bunny” by Real Simple, will do just that.  Enough for a crowd to share (it’s over 3lbs of chocolate!), Mr. Goodtime brings good cheer in his morning coat and decorative Easter egg,  and will take center stage at your table!

We’re just the chocolate experts, if you’re looking for more table setting ideas and etiquette we’ll leave that to our friends up the street at Emily Post Institute

Hop. Hop.  Easter is almost here!


Did someone say chocolate?

Posted on March 11, 2013 4:08 PM by Meghan

 

Easter is Sunday March 31.  Yes, that’s right.  Just a little over two weeks away!  That means for those of you in the Burlington area, you’ll start seeing Peter Cottontail outside our store dancing, waving and spreading Easter joy.  And that’s just outside our store.  When you walk into our stores, you’ll be overwhelmed by the chocolate bunnies, carrots, eggs, and Easter baskets you see overflowing the shelves.

Who can resist the Cruisin’ Bunny or a colorful bag full of chocolate-filled Easter eggs like caramel, coconut and raspberry?  Or how about our Tendersweet Milk Chocolate Carrot or the Cosmic Dark Purple Carrot?  Or our new limited-edition organic Easter chocolate bars? 

It’s Easter headquarters here at Lake Champlain Chocolates and we’d hate for you to miss out on all the fun! 

Stop by today!

65 Church Street
Church Street Marketplace
Burlington, VT
802-862-5185
Mon-Thu: 10:00am-7:00pm
Fri-Sat: 10:00am-9:00pm
Sum: 11:00am-6:00pm

750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT
802-864-1807
Mon-Sat:  9:00am-6:00pm  
Sunday: 12:00-5:00pm

Route 100
Cabot Annex
Waterbury Center, VT
802-241-4150
9:00am-6:00pm daily


Give Chocolate Lovers What They Want!

Posted on March 7, 2013 10:47 AM by Meghan

That’s really our whole mission here at Lake Champlain Chocolates: to make chocolate lovers as fanatical about Lake Champlain Chocolates as we are. 

Inspired by the tastes and textures our own team members and customers enjoy the most, these new organic chocolate bars will enhance your health with nutritious ingredients and fairly-traded chocolate from the Dominican Republic and Peru, explore new culinary boundaries with four innovative new flavors and indulge your desire for a little reward- either for yourself or as a gift to others.

Here are some of our staff’s new favorites:

Jim Lampman, Founder and President, is an avid skier and snowboarder who satisfies his cravings with the Crunchy Granola bar, milk chocolate packed with toasted oat clusters, raisins and cinnamon.

Eric Lampman, Research and Development Manager, who travels internationally to source new cocoa, is excited about the single origin Peruvian Dark Chocolate bar, which beckons to those curious about emerging terroir.

Allyson Myers, Director of Sales, tucks the new salty-sweet Peanut Butter bar in her bag whether she’s spending the day on the waters of Lake Champlain or enjoying a summer picnic with her family.

Catherine Wisloski, Director of Marketing, rewards herself after an active afternoon with truly indulgent combinations like the Salted Caramel bar, dark chocolate filled with salty-sweet caramel. And when it’s still chilly in Vermont and she dreams of an instant vacation, she breaks into a Creamy Coconut bar for a momentary escape to the tropics.

Packaged in vibrant designs that suggest the intensity of flavor and purity of ingredients, the complete line includes ten chocolate bars and five bite-size squares: Peruvian Dark, Cherries & Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Sea Salt & Almonds, Spicy Aztec, Crunchy Granola, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Creamy Coconut.  

 We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 


A Very Vermont Valentine

Posted on February 6, 2013 1:50 PM by Meghan

Chocolate and wine are natural companions to any Valentine’s Day celebration— and how better to celebrate than with two local Vermont companies with exceptional products:  Lake Champlain Chocolates and Shelburne Vineyard. 

Shelburne Vineyard is hosting “A Vermont Valentine” as part of the Vermont Grape and Wine Council’s Wine and Chocolate Weekend on February 9 and 10 at their tasting room on Route 7 in Shelburne.  The event will run from 11am-5pm with free wine tastings, chocolate samples and suggested pairings.  We will conduct the pairings and have Valentine chocolate gifts for sale on Saturday, February 9, from 11am-5pm.

We worked really hard tasting different wines and chocolates, and in the end we discovered both complementary pairings as well as pairings with distinctive contracts of flavors and textures.  And it’s our Valentine’s Day gift to share these wonderful pairings with you!

Highlights include the Louise Swenson and the Bergamot Honey truffle, part of our new line of Revel Chocolates. The citrusy, dry, light-bodied wine, made from grapes grown on the vineyard, complements the gentle orange spice of the tea in the chocolate. The Duet Ice Wine and Caramelized Almonds is an outstanding dessert pairing with the hint of caramelized sugar and butter that coats the nuts harmonizing with the rich layers of fruit sweetness in the wine.

Staff from both LCC and Shelburne Vineyard will be on hand to walk attendees through the various pairings.  There is no one correct way to pair wine and chocolate.  We encourage people to explore and try new combinations.  You never know what you might discover!


Chocolate-dipped Strawberries!

Posted on January 30, 2013 2:32 PM by Meghan

 

Lake Champlain Chocolates Dipped Strawberries

 

 

Pre-order sweet, delicious, hand-dipped chocolate strawberries today! 
Nothing says romance better than this Valentine’s Day classic.

All you have to do is call one of our three retail stores to place your order:

    Pine Street Factory Store– 864-1807
    Church Street Store – 862-5185
    Waterbury Store – 241-4150

Dipped strawberries are $38.00 per pound (plus tax), with 12-15 strawberries per pound. Just let us know how many you would like—we would love to pack them into a beautiful box and tie it with a bold red bow.  All you have to do is pick them up!

Pick up is available from Wednesday Feb 13 and Thursday Feb 14.

Strawberries are only available through our three retail stores. Unfortunately, due to their short shelf life and delicate beauty, they are not available online and cannot be shipped.


PS- They will sell out, so don’t miss your chance to give your Valentine a sweet, luxurious treat! 

 


A group of us from LCC goes every year to the Winter Fancy Food Trade Show in San Francisco.  It’s a HUGE show all about food, so we love it.  Not only do we get to show off our products, like our new Easter chocolates and organic bars, but we get to see what everyone else is up to in the world of food. 

This year we’re doing something a little extra.  We’re hosting a “How to Taste Chocolate” workshop for valued members of the media.  There are so many different chocolate companies sampling their goods at the show, it is overwhelming.  How does a journalist know if a chocolate is good or bad?  After awhile, it becomes hard to discern flavors and textures, what you like and what you don’t like.  We’re hosting a guided tasting for those interested in understanding the nuanced elements of tasting, evaluating and describing exceptionally sourced chocolate.   The tasting will include the following chocolates:

•   Single Origin Peru Dark Chocolate Bar
•   Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker’s Madagascar Wild Pepper
    (a Good Food Awards Finalist)
•   Organic Salted Caramel Bar (New, coming in March!)
•   Organic Spicy Aztec Bar

Our hope is by the end of the tasting, the attendees will know what to look for when they are out on the show floor tasting different chocolates and not be quite so overwhelmed. 

The tasting is Monday, January 21 at 1:30 in Room 222 of the South Hall in the East Mezzanine of the Moscone Center.  If you’re a journalist and are interested in attending stop by our booth #565 and we can sign you up!


 

Holidays are over and summer is still a long way off—it can be hard to find something to get excited about in late January (unless you are a skier and it’s dumping snow, then that is pretty darn exciting). 

Well, our Factory Store at 750 Pine St, Burlington, has a few things going on that might get you off the couch. 

First, we’re having a winter sale, starting Friday, January 18 through Sunday, January 27!  Featuring our gourmet hot chocolate, Five Star Bars, and our handmade truffles, it’s a great time to stock up on your favorites or buy some early Valentine’s Day chocolates (as long as you don’t eat them before the big day!)  We’ll have lots of samples out for you to try too!

Second, we’re hosting two, free, (yes, FREE) chocolate tastings on Saturday, January 26.

At 1:00pm and 3:00pm, you can taste chocolate with an expert who will walk you through how chocolate is made, the differences between chocolate, desirable qualities of chocolate and the six steps to tasting chocolate.  Attendees will sample our famous Five Star Bars (did we mention they will also be on sale?) and learn how to evaluate them.  There is no need to register for either session but seating is limited so it is recommended to arrive early.

Soon you’ll impress your friends and family by describing the flavor notes of chocolate as sour, spicy, earthy or fruity.  And showing off your bounty of chocolate you picked up at some great prices.

That seems pretty good for the end of January to me.


Wintervale!

Posted on January 4, 2013 12:37 PM by Meghan

The Intervale Center is one of our favorite places.  It’s where we had our company picnic last June, it’s where we keep our bees, and it’s where we serve our ice cream every Thursday all summer long at Summervale.  While the Intervale Center is definitely where it’s at in the summer months (it’s like one big community picnic with all the best local food in one spot), when the weather permits, they also have Wintervale!

And since we’ve already had more snow fall this winter then we did all of last, we’re thrilled that the first Wintervale of the season is this Sunday, January 6Wintervale is less focused on food, although there will be our gourmet hot chocolate at the ready to warm folks up, and more focused on enjoying being outside in the winter.  When you live in Vermont you really need to embrace the winter, otherwise it’s a long few months.  Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are two of the more popular ways to enjoy the Intervale in the winter, with free equipment to try and 3 miles of groomed trails. There will also be lots of other fun games and activities for the kids too! 

 
We hope to see you out there!

 


Chocolate Recipes for the Season

Posted on December 18, 2012 11:23 AM by Meghan

Tis the season for baking and cooking and eating and drinking and more eating and drinking….. By the time January 1 rolls around, no wonder everyone is making resolutions to eat less and exercise more.  But it’s not January 1, not yet.  And so, we should feel free to continue to indulge for the next couple of weeks, it is part of what the holidays are all about!

While we have lots of delicious chocolate recipes on our website (my go-to is the Ultimate Chocolate Cake), we recently worked with several talented recipe developers and bloggers who came up with their own amazing recipes using our products.  Since you may have missed some of them, we thought we’d share those recipes with you here.  Let us know which ones you use and what you like the best! (warning: they all include chocolate!)

The Comfort of Cooking- Mexican Hot Chocolate using Old World Drinking Hot Chocolate.

Green Lite Bites- Spiced Hot Cocoa and Chamomile Tea using Unsweetened Organic Cocoa

Inspired Tastes- Chocolate Walnut Cookies using Unsweetened Organic Cocoa

Healthy Seasonal Recipes- Flourless Dark Chocolate Torte using Unsweetened Organic Cocoa and 54% Dark Chocolate Bar

Alexandra Cooks- Double Dark Chocolate Cake using Unsweetened Organic Cocoa

Happy Eating, Drinking and Being Merry this Holiday!


Good Food Award Finalist!

Posted on December 3, 2012 1:16 PM by Meghan

Imagine our excitement when Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker was among the finalists for the 2013 Good Food Award!  After just a few short months on the market, the Madagascar Wild Pepper Chocolate bar was selected among hundreds of entries- a pretty amazing achievement for Eric Lampman, founder of Blue Bandana.

What is Blue Bandana?   Blue Bandana is a fresh approach to making chocolate at LCC, founded on the principles of quality, transparency, taste of place and craft process.  Assiduous craftsmanship- to source roast, winnow, refine, conche, temper, mould and hand wrap each micro-batch of chocolate- requires great patience and passion.  Eric’s mission with Blue Bandana is to reveal the unique taste of the eartch native to each cacao’s landscape and strengthen direct relationships with those farmers.  Blue Bandana makes three exceptional chocolates:  Madagascar 70%, Guatemala 70% and the award finalist Madagascar Wild Pepper.  Check out our three retail stores in Vermont to buy.

What is the Good Food Awards?  
In their own words…..The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients.

Now in its third year, Good Food Awards will be given to winners in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits. The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good. The Good Food Awards Gold Seal marks the products of winners who have also obtained certified organic status while also leading in taste and social responsibility.

You can see the other list of finalists here.  Winners will be announced at an event in San Francisco on January 18th so stay tuned!