As I mentioned earlier this past week, Sisters and Brothers, your Chocolate Priestess took two of our three acolytes with her to visit with four friends in Nashville, Indiana. The Candy Dish, a store at 61 West Main Street, was very generous and made an offering to The Chocolate Cult, thus earning them a position in a Saturday Sacrament. To the right is a picture of the box their products came in, and when I say generous, I am talking twelve different items for me to reveal to you in full sensory descriptions.
Since I visited the store itself I wanted to share a few pictures of what it looks like, both outside and inside. Here we see the outdoor sign that you find on the street telling you to enter here to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Inside The Candy Dish is a fairly large store attached to another gift store next door. This is a shot of a wall-long aisle of caramels and other candies you can get, and it was so long I had to take the two pictures.
As you can see to the left, Julie, the store’s owner, gave me four caramels of my choice. These they do not make on site; they had well over a dozen flavors to choose from. There are nice soft caramels measuring 1.75 × 0.75 × 0.75 inches wrapped in tight plastic that unfolded easily like an envelope.
The Chocolate caramel has both a cocoa and a caramel scent to it and it sticks to my paper plate and my fingers both. It is nicely soft and easy to chew, though it sticks to my teeth. It tastes almost exactly like a Milk Dud, if you have ever had those, with more caramel and sweet flavor than chocolate’s bitterness.
The Chocolate Vanilla caramel is two-tone, one half chocolate and the other the normal caramel flavor you expect. The vanilla scent overwhelms the cocoa, and it is just as sticky as the previous piece. The first bite is with the vanilla side on my tongue, and it is great caramel but has no cocoa flavor, so I flip it over for the next bite, which lets the cocoa register, though not as strongly as in the plain piece.
The Walnut caramel has visible pieces of nuts in the dark candy and even a faint walnut scent. You can certainly taste the walnuts in a solid chocolate flavor, and the nuts add an extra hard texture to the softness and may be the reason it stuck less to my teeth.
The Chocolate Mint caramel has a layer of light, mint green through it, though only a very slight mint odor when I take a deep whiff of it. This mint layer is a much firmer piece of candy inside two soft and sticky caramel layers. At first the primary flavor is the chocolate, but then the mint builds up and blends pretty well with it.
Overall the caramels all had that sweet, tangy caramel taste with a bit of cocoa. Each was sticky and soft, so it may not be great if you have teeth problems or dentures. Each flavor was distinctive and pleasant. Now let me show you more of The Candy Dish itself while I take a break and cleanse my palate.
The two photos below are of the homemade fudge section and the salt water taffy sections of the store as well as a view of the window outdoors.
The next two photos are of the collectibles section of the store. That huge Mister Peanut® surprised me, and beyond the Coca-Cola® section is the attached gift store.
To the right is the hand-dipped candies display case in the store, and those delights in the dish are what Julie, the owner of The Candy Dish offered The Chocolate Cult. There are eight pieces — one white chocolate, four milk chocolate, and three dark chocolate — so every one of you, Sisters and Brothers needs to keep reading. Now, I don’t know what types of products these are, so I’m going to describe them as best as I can. Refer back to the photo below to get a better idea as I reveal the experience of eating each piece.
Let’s start with the two white chocolate pieces that look bumpy and measure 1 × .075 × 0.75 inches. They smell like white chocolate and a hint of perhaps something nutty. These are bite size, so I pop one into my mouth and begin crunching it up. The creamy tang of the white chocolate meets some type of nut, cashew perhaps. The two flavors blend really well and start to channel a sugar rush downward and out to my limbs.
When I opened the white paper bag the candies were packed in, I noticed that the card inside the bag was ¼ red and the bottom of the bag was red. Inside the white box you can find at the beginning of this review, it was also red. I think one of these candies is a cherry cordial or something like that, and it was leaking. I wiped it all up and then set them on a paper plate, and after about half an hour the milk chocolate piece with a spiral swirl got a tiny red pool around it. Let’s see if this 1.5 inch diameter and 1+ inch high piece is indeed a cherry cordial type of candy. It does have a cherry chocolate scent when I take a light sniff of it. Biting in, the surprisingly vanilla flavored milk chocolate shell breaks easily to reveal a full-sized, pit-free cherry. It tastes very good if you like candied cherries and chocolate.
Two pieces are equal-sized rectangles measuring 1.75 × 1 × 1.85 inches in dimensions. They differ in only one external aspect: one is milk chocolate, and one is dark chocolate. Even when I take several deep breaths of each I cannot smell a difference, so I’ll just have to take a bite. The milk chocolate is much softer than I imagined, I find when I take a bite, and it reveals a wonderfully tangy vanilla caramel inside. The darker piece is not a caramel at all but has a fudgy, very chocolaty, firm center that practically delivers a cocoa buzz as I’m chewing the first bite. Very, very impressive. You need to try this one, Sisters and Brothers.
The next milk chocolate piece is covered in small nut shavings and is almost a square, measuring 2 × 1.75 × 0.4 inches. All I can smell is a faint milk chocolate scent, so I take a bite. It snaps between my teeth to reveal an intensely almond toffee inside; you can still see the pieces of nuts in the hard center while it sticks very well to my teeth. As with most toffees, the sugary tartness of the toffee overwhelms the cocoa, but here I can taste the milk chocolate a bit more than previous chocolate covered toffees, giving it a more balanced flavor.
Since that toffee stuck to my teeth, I take a moment to brush my teeth as well as the usual breaks and water to cleanse my mouth before proceeding to the last milk chocolate circle, which is almost 2 inches across and about 0.75 inches tall. It has a nut and caramel scent to it when I bring it my nose, so I’m betting this is some type of turtle style candy. I’m correct! It looks and feels like there is a layer of chocolate, a layer of pecans, a layer of caramel and then more chocolate that makes for interesting textures as I bite, varying between sticky, crunchy and creamy. The caramel flavor is the principal one, but the milk chocolate and pecans blend together as the secondary flavor, creating a very pleasant mixture.
The tallest piece is dark chocolate, measuring 1.4 inches across and 1.5 inches tall, with raised lines of dark chocolate over the top. It has a very dark cocoa scent to it and starts to melt in my fingers as I hold it. Biting into it is a bit of work because the ganache is thick. Inside is a dark chocolate truffle center whose cocoa scent hits me, practically making my mouth water. The inside just melts in my mouth, and soon my eyes are rolling back in ecstasy. This will definitely give you a cocoa buzz, but the cocoa content tastes a bit high, so if you don’t like your dark chocolate very dark, try one first before you buy a lot. If darker is better for you, this is the candy from The Candy Dish for you.
After letting the buzz wear down, which takes quite a while, I turn to the final piece, which looks like two bumps in a pool of dark chocolate. It measures 2 × 1.5 × 1 inches and has that turtle smell to it, which is confirmed when I turn it over to find pecans and caramel peeking through. Compared to the previous milk chocolate turtle this is more chocolate tasting, because the caramel inside is chocolate in addition to the darkness of the coating. The nuts are also different; I think these are peanuts, actually, and digging inside I try to pop one out to look at it but can’t, since it is stuck with the caramel. A very surprising variation and a delight to eat.
The Candy Dish may have a website, I found the link I'm providing but it isn't on their business card so you can them at 812-988-7606 or write to them at PO Box 1790, Nashville, IN 47448, if these items sounded like something you want to try. If you are in Nashville, head west, and they are just a bit from the main crossroads of the town. All of these were tasty, some had serious cocoa rush potential, and I love promoting local and regional businesses, so I’m very grateful to The Candy Dish for trusting me to reveal their products to all of you.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.
Official Notice: The first Chocolate Event will be in coordination with The Nashville Humane Society at their 2nd Annual Chocolate Walk on November 14, 2009. Check HERE for more information. Later I will be mentioning how you can join The Chocolate Priestess and the Chocolate Coconut Acolyte on this excursion.