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EHChocolatier's Preservative-Free Goodies are Fresh, Flavorful, and Hand Crafted

By Kelly Church

Crafting hand-made chocolates with attention to detail, fresh ingredients and powerful flavor, EHChocolatier is a Somerville, MA stop for bonbons and confections. Each chocolate is carefully made with no artificial flavors or preservatives. Co-founder Elaine Hsieh compares fresh chocolate to a fresh pastry, saying her company's chocolates are meant to be enjoyed quickly, not stored on a shelf.

"Hand-crafted small [and] micro batch chocolates and confections are made fresh to order and do not contain any artificial flavors or preservatives, unlike mass-produced chocolates which need those additions in order to still taste reasonably in six months up to a year," Hsieh says. "It's very much like eating a freshly made pastry from a very good bakery."

EHChocolatier sells two different types of chocolate: bonbons and confections. Hsieh says each bonbon is a small square of chocolate infused with spices, herbs, fruits and craft liquors. Flavors include salted caramel, pinenut cinnamon, earl grey and passionfruit. The confection line of chocolates includes a variety of candy bars, solid chocolate and chocolate mixed with caramel, nuts and more.

"The flavors and texture of the chocolates are fresh and clean and leave a very pleasing aftertaste, unlike products that base their chocolates on artificial flavorings and preservatives," Hsieh says.

Hsieh says the most popular items on the menu are the Brown Butter Toffee Almond, Coconutty, which is similar to an Almond Joy, Maple Pecan Bourbon Clusters and Milk Chocolate Bark with caramelized almonds. Also on the best sellers list, you'll find Rochers, mounds of caramelized cornflakes and almonds covered in dark milk chocolate. It's part sweet, part salty and part crunchy.

Customers who can't make up their mind can spring for The Big Tasty, a collection of mixed confections. The Big Tasty includes: an Ancho Bar, Brown Butter Toffee, Caramelized White Chocolate Bar, Crispy Milk Bar, Chocolate Chew, Coconutty Bar, Peanut Butter Crunch Bar, Pecan Cluster, Rocher and Toffee Crunch Bar.

All of EHChocolatier's confections happened by way of an accidentally delicious wedding cake. Hsieh and Co-Founder Catharine Sweeney were introduced in 1999 when a mutual friend asked the two to make her wedding cake. Without knowing each other, the duo successfully baked and decorated the cake and over the next few years, Hsieh called upon Sweeney when she needed assistance with her dessert catering business. In 2010, Hsieh convinced Sweeney to join her in opening their very own artisan chocolate shop, EHChocolatier.

Since Hsieh and Sweeney officially joined forces, EHChocolatier has been recognized by national publications, including The New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine, Desserts Professional, USA Today and Fodor's Travel, often being titled the "Best in Boston."

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