I’ve always tossed in bed more restlessly in anticipation of the Easter morning pastel puff of candy than the stuffed sock of Christmas. There are certain mass-market candies at the grocery store that I’ll throw a child-size temper tantrum if I don’t unbury from the pink plastic grass, but for the most part, there are too many homemade, unspoiled, all-natural Baltimore sweets to look forward to uncovering in my basket.
Here’s a rundown of some local chocolate and candy makers:
Cacao Lorenzo Chocolatier: The well-deserved accolades and “Best of’s” are too many to list, but Cacao Lorenzo’s self-professed commitment to “using all natural ingredients, with Old World ethics and technique…to revive the dying culinary art of chocolate making and reveal to chocolate devotees the lost art of authentic, hand crafted chocolate” comes across to the taste buds. Their edible Easter “Cabosse” is a stylish dark chocolate cocoa pod filled with a 15-piece French truffle assortment.
Glarus Chocolatier: Ranked sixth on Complex’s 2012 list of best chocolatiers in America, this husband and wife chocolate-perfecting duo opened their store in December of 2004 to bring back traditional Swiss chocolate-making techniques. For a twist on the usual Easter treat, try their coconut bird’s nests with organic jelly bean eggs or their dark chocolate truffle egg.
Mary Sue Candies: Making candies since 1948, there’s something especially appealing about this Baltimore tradition of chocolate that was first made famous by Johnny Unitas’ memorable television rendition of Mary Sue’s snappy jingle advertising “the creamiest candy that’s made,” which you can still hear upon simple request for an audio clip while browsing their selection of marshmellowy pecan nougat eggs.
Moore’s Candies: Named “One of America’s Best” by The Los Angeles Times and “the best chocolate makers” by the Food Network, Moore’s is approaching 90 years of business. Celebrate Easter Maryland-style with the crab-shaped chocolates or the uniquely packaged chocolate-CD in a “Chesapeake Sailing” case.
Rheb’s Homemade Candies: Now in their third generation of making their secret family candy recipes, they create goodies from truffles and fudge to nuts, chews, and crisps. They continue to infuse their candies with the heart that originated with Louis and Esther Rheb in 1917, the newlyweds who moved into their new home at 3352 Wilkens Avenue and started experimenting with candy recipes in their basement.
Wockenfuss Homemade Candies: A fifth-generation, family-owned business that celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2015, they don’t get much more homemade-confection perfect than this. Looking for an alternative to the solid milk chocolate Easter bunny that’s more commiserate with your beliefs? Try their solid milk chocolate crosses or dinosaurs.
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