When I first went vegan, I resigned myself to no longer having access to fancy-schmancy, hand-made chocolates. You know, the kind you get from Godiva or Thorntons - the ones that cost an absolute king's ransom but taste like an angel expired in ecstacy on your tongue. Yeah, those ones.
However, a few months ago I discovered a (to me relatively local) chocolatier who specializes in vegan chocolates - Divine Treasures. My Beloved and I made a special trip to visit with the proprietor, Diane Blanchette-Wagemann, and to sample a few of her totally luscious wares.
Suffice to say, we were in no way disappointed.
Entering the little store is like taking a break from mallifed America: it is small, soothing, quiet and personable. Her staff made us immediately welcome and were extremely happy to talk in detail about each and every chocolate confection they offer. From the Rocky Ray to the Mello Bar to the Peanut Butter Melts, every last ingredient could be scrutinised and explained. Now the bars and bites are one thing, but the truffles and fancy chocolates are another. Each one is indescribably delicious - formed as they are with high-grade, Belgian chocolate - and a real work of art in miniature. We managed to leave the store with a box containing, pretty much, two (one for each of us) of each of her signature chocolates and, as we were leaving, she insisted on giving us samples - beautifully boxed and gift-wrapped - of a couple of chocolate-enrobed jellies she was working on.
They were sumptuous beyond belief.
OK, so the moral of the story is that very often the thing you believe you're having to sacrifice, the thing that makes you think 'Yeah, I'd go vegan if it wasn't for...[fill in the blank]', it exists out there. You just have to look. And when you find it....well, it's even more delicious than you could ever imagine!
Stay vegan, friends! :)