Who doesn’t love chocolate, especially on Valentine’s Day? Rhode Island does for sure, with a plethora of places for locals and travelers alike to more than satisfy their sweet tooth on the year’s sweetest day.
Sweenor’s Chocolates in South Kingstown started more than 60 years ago as a home business in Cranston in the Sweenor family, a tradition that included the creation of “Sweenor’s Open Fire Candies” in the first retail shop in the 1950s. Today’s business – still in the Sweenor clan – cranks out things like truffles, pretzels, pops and all manner of chocolate delights, including a special Valentine Chocolate Covered Oreo, using the finest fresh cream, butter, honey, roasted nuts, pure milk chocolate and superior flavors. www.sweenorschocolates.com
Hauser Chocolatier of Westerly is a second-generation family-owned company making fine quality truffles and assorted chocolates as well as the original Chocolate Lace, and Tom and Sally’s line of fun candies and cow pies. Some of its other very original truffle creations are made with things like black vinegar, pomegranates and cranberries. Hauser is famous for its hand-finished fresh cream truffles and premium-assorted chocolates, and at this time of year for its rich red heart-shaped boxes bearing all manner of luscious chocolate love within. www.hauserchocolates.com
Want to dazzle your loved ones with a quintessentially Rhode Island treat? Give them some Rhode Island Rocks, an irresistible chocolate candy with pretzels, raisins and peanuts, sold in a wide range of retail locations across the state. Created by Tesoro Confectioners, a brother-and-sister duo, Tom and Lucia Asprinio were the original founders of one of the state’s sweetest creations. www.rirocks.com
Dave and Marie Schaller have been making fine chocolates since 1992 at The Chocolate Delicacy, now located in Warwick, a new and improved shop getting rave reviews – as the chocolate always has. The Chocolate Delicacy offers a wide and tasty range of fudge, milk and dark chocolates, candy novelties, gifts, baskets, sweet treats and more. They make the usual and delish assortment of holiday candies, but if you really want to ramp up the amore angle, check out their naughtier line of goodies that includes chocolate body paint, chocolate lips and even chocolate handcuffs. www.chocolatedelicacy.com
One lovely little shop in downtown Providence is Café Choklad, a Swedish café with great coffee, pastries and, of course, chocolate. It serves a wonderful variety of sandwiches and such for breakfast and lunch, in a bright and airy setting one online reviewer called a “haven of Scandinavian calm,” and what’s not to love about a place that serves Neuhaus Chocolate, which for 160-plus years has been the originator, innovator and quintessence of Belgian chocolate magnificence. www.facebook.com/Cafe-Choklad-337529709612650
Embrace the sights and smells of chocolate this Valentine’s season at Kilwins in Newport, where from the second you enter the door you’re swarmed with the aroma of freshly made confections created before your eyes. That includes fudge, Rice Krispy treats, caramel apples, hand-crafted brittles, chocolate-dipped pretzels and more. In summer, Kilwins is a must-stop for exquisite ice cream, which is served year round, but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, it’s a great place to go chocolate before you go home. www.kilwins.com/stores/kilwins-newport
If you love gourmet, boutique chocolate, check out Cocofuel, a Rhode Island-made product sold in places like Whole Foods, and while not specific to Valentine’s Day, is what chocolate bars – not candy – were meant to be. The chocolate is made with but four ingredients: Organic cocoa powder, organic cocoa butter, organic honey and natural flavorings. What’s not in these things is processed sugar; the sweetening comes from the bit of honey to balance the cocoa. What you have is a chocolate bar best eaten at room temperature and with just one square left to melt on your tongue and imbue your chocolate-loving soul with a naturally rich flavor, that’s pretty much all you’ll need. www.cocofueltreats.com