Legacy Chocolates (St Paul, MN)

(Legacy Chocolates closed their St Paul location in May 2009.  To my knowledge, their Menomonie, WI store remains open)

I’ve just returned from a trip to the Twin Cities. As a former resident, it’s interesting seeing the places that have popped up since my last visit. Unlike other areas where it has died out, the Coffee Revolution is still in full swing, with both the number of independent coffee houses and locally-founded or -based chains (Caribou and Dunn Bros) on the upswing. More interesting to me, however, is that a number of good chocolate places have apparently cropped up in the Twin Cities as well.

Particularly, we ran across Legacy Chocolates while swinging by one of our favorite ice cream shops (Izzy’s, two doors down from Legacy). And I’m glad we did, as this is one of the better chocolate shops I’ve been to, certainly one of the best in the Twin Cities, as well as one of the more affordable ones. The selection is very simple, a variety of ganache-filled truffles are available enrobed in one of four different chocolate coatings ranging from 41% to85% cocoa. As anyone who knows me will confirm, I’m definitely a chocolate afficionado, and the chocolate here is definitely some of the best I’ve had.

However, I’m of mixed emotions on this place. While the chocolate is of impeccable quality and purity, and some of his creations (particularly, his chipotle truffle in 85% chocolate) are actually amazing, I find that some of the store’s prosthlyetizing leaves a slightly sour taste in my mouth. Not because I don’t believe in the quality of their product (I do), or their beliefs (high-purity chocolate and careful preparation), but I find it heavy-handed, and a bit conceited as there are a number of other chocolatiers that are of comparable quality (and often more humble, as well), including Vosges chocolates , and my near-to-home favorite, L.A. Burdick. He also goes way overboard with info on the health benefits of chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there’s another good chocolatier out there, but I find Legacy’s attitude a little over-the-top.

Oh well, the chocolate is still worth trying. Next trip to town I’ll have to try the other place that was recommended, Chocolat Celeste (http://www.chocolatceleste.com/, University Ave, St Paul) (Update: Celeste closed their retail store in Summer 2010…)

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