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Business Sun Feb 25 2007
Chocolate is not hard to come by in Chicago. But like wine, coffee, and cheese, quality varies enormously. Unfortunately, if you want the good stuff, you've got to be willing to pay. I found that out the hard way at bon bon in Andersonville. The tiny store is warm and inviting, and the chocolates are displayed immaculately in a glowing glass case. Many of the pieces are dusted with sparkly "luster" powders, which further enhance the sheen of their smooth chocolate surfaces. These are really tiny works of art.
Overwhelmed by the selection, I asked for recommendations for the best dark chocolate pieces they had. Some are filled with standard ingredients like caramel and peanut butter but others venture toward the exotic with fillings such as Arbol chili and calvados. I chose something in the middle, 2 "Cleopatra" pieces, dark chocolate squares studded with cocoa nibs (see photo above), and 2 pistachio cream-filled pieces. Both were intensely-flavored, and the chocolate itself was obviously of the highest caliber.
Unfortunately, the cost of these chocolates (about $1.50 to $2.80 per piece) will likely prevent me from sampling all the varieties. The store does offer a slightly less expensive alternative to its filled candies: chocolate bars and small bags of chocolate-dipped graham crackers and pretzels for about $3.00 to $5.00 a pop. Luxury chocolate doesn't come cheap at bon bon, but if you're looking for something decadent and a little different, you won't be disappointed.