The Chocolate Life

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For Floridians or anyone visiting, here's great choc shop info:
http://floridatrend.com/article.asp?aid=48288

Who knew so much great choc in FL!?
I had a box of Norman Love's chocolates a couple months ago. Some very complex flavors and some a little too far from center for my tastes. Each piece however was truly a piece of art work.
Anyone anywhere in the world can find chocolate shops in their area on CHOCOMAP.COM! Just enter your region and city and up pops a map with pinpoints of shops- click on those for name, address, contact info and reviews- its awesome! Any shop can add their info for FREE, and anyone can review shops or suggest to add shops.
What a great resource!
There are also two new books due out shortly that list places to buy chocolate in the US. They are:

The Chocolate Guide: To Local Chocolatiers, Chocolate Makers, Boutiques, Patisseries and Shops

There is an Eastern edition and a Western Edition. They are available for pre-order (Jan31, 08) on Amazon. The two together will set you back about $25.

These guides are from the same publisher who puts out Chocolate French, publishes TasteTV, and organizes the SF and LA International chocolate festivals.
Surprisingly, I was able to get the Western Edition Chocolate guide on Amazon just last week! They seem to have very low stock but it is published and avail if you keep an eye on it- i paid $10.85. AWESOME beautiful book. Eastern edition comes out late Feb and is avail for pre-order.
So besides the actual chocolatier shops here in New York, have you got any favorite gourmet stores with exotic selections? (beyond Fairway, Dean and Deluca, and the major groceries) Perhaps, in the outer boroughs?
As much as I would love to, iv never had the time to get out to the boroughs- Im always in and outof NYC on quick 3 day trips. But i do know Brooklyn has a really good variety- when i really want to find choc in a specific area i use either CHOCOMAP.com (limited only because shop owners have to submit their info to be included) or CITYSEARCH.com, which is kinda like the Yellow Pages- type in what city (like brooklyn or queens) state, and key word search "chocolate" Or "chocolate shops"- you'll get pages of shops, with map links, addresses and reviews! And for imports i look for "import grocery", "russian food", "polish food", etc....usually where there are ethnic restaurants there are also groceries importing for those groups- so fun to poke around and see what diff. ppl eat!
So far I have done my main online shopping at Chocosphere and At the Meadow. But would like to explore others, hoping to learn of more here!
In London I recommend:

Paul A Young (http://www.payoung.ne... )
Shops in Angel (Camden Passage) and The Royal Exchange (Threadneedle St)

L'Artisan du Chocolat (http://www.artisanduc... )
Lower Sloane St (Near Sloane Square) and also at Borough market where they sell all the misshapes - well worth a visit!

Rococo (http://www.rococochoc... )
Kings Road, Marylebone High St and a new shop at Motcomb St near Knightsbridge.

William Curley (http://www.williamcur... )
In Richmond upon Thames, Mayfair and John Lewis Oxford St

Also see http://www.seventypercent.com/pod/?p=107/
Another great trick to use is ABOUT.com, type in the city and then search for Choc shops....comes up with tons of shops and links....
A NEW fabulous choc shop has opened here in Tampa, its a temple of choc really- called CHOXOTICA (such a cool name). Its unlike any choc shop Ive been too, very cool, soothing ambiance with low lights and high end choc bars lined up all around the store with descriptive details of every bar - not unlike a wine or cigar shop. AND they serve hot & cold choc-drinks using the best chocolate (you choose whick kind) and filtered water so the cacao flavor is not dilutted by milk or cream. Please ck out their website for a full "virtual" experience.
www.choxotica.com
Wow! Looks like amazing heaven! I was in Brighton Beach a few days ago and picked up a bar each from: Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia. I'll have to give reports as I try them in the other forum!

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