“Nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen, reads a tee shirt in the shop. Very appropriate.
Heat and humidity make bitter enemies of those working with chocolate, and let’s face it, summer temperatures soar in the Keys. However, Key Largo Chocolates has created an impressive line of sweets that survive Florida’s tropical climate. The local confectioners have perfected a method to produce dazzling candy and some of the most delicious chocolates anywhere.
Bob Thomas, a retired pilot and his wife, Kristie, a passionate entrepreneur, decided to start their company about 18 months ago. They have become the first and only chocolatiers in the Keys, or, as Kristie sees it, not a Mom and Pop but Grandma and Grandpa business.
Like Jack’s famous beanstalk, their operation grew overnight. Five months ago they burst free from the original digs and replanted themselves in a pink-and-green candyland. The new storefront sits at Mile Marker 100 in Key Largo. The preppy colors, reminiscent of Lily Pulitzer fabrics, radiate the company spirit and speak of a classy lifestyle and refined tastes.
Key Largo Chocolates truffles are not rolled by hand, but hand-crafted in molds via a four-step process. First, tempered chocolate is poured into the mold, then flipped to leave a thin coating. The molds are refrigerated and, when cooled, a dollop of thick ganache is pressed in. Next, the bottom (top of the mold) gets an additional layer of melted chocolate. Once again they are chilled until ready for artist Carol Schryver to decorate with her delicate and distinctive designs.
Key Largo Chocolates proclaim the Key Lime Truffle as their signature dish – a morsel of dark chocolate surrounding a reduction of intense Key Lime-flavored crème. For optimal tasting, let the chocolate melt on the tongue and release the vibrant citrus tang.
Many other island-inspired truffle choices are produced, including mango, Jamaican Rum, coconut, cappuccino and caramel, as well as cutesy solid chocolate or white chocolate turtles, sharks and gators.
Kid’s classes or Junior Chocolatier parties have been added to the menu, along with a selection of superior ice cream. What a cool way to beat the heat in the tropics.
For information call: 305-852-1791
Visit the store at Mile Marker 100, Bayside, Key Largo
Visit the website: www.keylargochocolates.com