I'm sure many of you have heard of a CSA by now... and you may even have joined one, but have you ever heard of a CSC? This new-to-me acronym stands for community supported chocolate. Yes, I said chocolate. Instead of (or in addition to) signing up for copious boxes of fruits and vegetables (and even meats) delivered to your door or favorite drop-off spot, you can now sign up for a monthly or biweekly supply of chocolate from EH Chocolatier. It doesn't get much better that that, in my opinion.
I'm sad that I never got a chance to pop into the shop before we moved out of the Somerville area, but I was lucky enough to be able to sample a bunch of chocolates sent to me by Elaine. (And I'm sure I'll be swinging by the shop when we move back to the Boston area.)
A small box of artfully wrapped bonbons featured gorgeously decorated chocolates and interesting flavor combinations.
The jasmine tea one was so strong that it was like a cup of tea enrobed in chocolate. The spice baby truly does evoke warm gingerbread. The pine nut cinnamon praline has a soft but subtly crunchy filling. And the honey caramel has this intense homemade caramel taste and that little sprinkle of sea salt. I love that all of the flavors can be picked up on and the chocolates live up to their names. (There's nothing worse than thinking you're going to get an interesting chocolate and finding it just dull and boring.) These chocolates really deliver on flavor.
A larger white box was filled with what might come in a typical CSC package. Mine included a dark chocolate cocoa pod filled with creamy ganache made from cocoa beans from Madagascar; a caramelized white chocolate cocoa nib bar with fleur de sel; a rocher featuring crunchy caramelized flakes, roasted and candied almonds, and dark and milk chocolate; a peanut butter crunch bar with a wafer-like interior vaguely reminiscent of Butterfingers but so much better; crunchy toffee studded with almonds and covered in milk and dark chocolate; a wise guy, an adorable owl-shaped milk chocolate filled with maple pecan butter blended with more milk chocolate; a turtle, and various caramels.
I recognized the passionfruit caramel by its scent. There was no mistaking the creamy white chocolate caramel with in-your-face sweet and tangy passionfruit notes. Jeff and I shared the wise guy and loved its rich maple pecan butter filling. The chocolate cocoa pod was easily one of my favorites with its smooth, luscious dark chocolate filling. And that rocher... that was just heavenly. I've been sampling bites of each of the chocolates, and I haven't come across one I don't like yet. They are all so beautifully crafted and so well flavored.
Through the CSC program, you can opt to pick up chocolates monthly or biweekly at locations in Cambridge, Somerville, Back Bay, Belmont, Arlington, and Lincoln. You can sign up for a "full season" (6 monthly boxes or 12 biweekly boxes) or choose either the fall or winter season (3 monthly boxes or 6 biweekly boxes). For a monthly partial membership, you'll pay $60, which I think is really reasonable for the amount and quality of the chocolates you'd be getting.
If you're wondering why you might to sign up for the CSC (well, first, we can't possibly be friends -- it's chocolate, you don't wonder, you just act), I figure it can't hurt to have a box of artisan chocolates on hand for unexpected guests, dinner parties, or last-minute cravings. If you can't tell, I absolutely love this idea. Who doesn't want to be surprised with unique, interesting chocolates each month? Not to mention that you'd be supporting a local business. We need to hurry up and move back so I can be close to one of the pickup spots and sign up for some of these fabulous chocolates.
The chocolates I sampled were complimentary, but as always my opinions are my own.
What do you think... would you sign up for a CSC?