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The Chocolate Holiday


Valentine’s Day—it’s the one day out of the year when red pumps, red roses, and everything heart-shaped goes out for a night on the town, and—of course—chocolate can’t be left behind.

I’ve shared my Valentine’s Day Legacy Truffles thrills before, and we can’t get enough of Mademoiselle Miel, BT McElrath, and Sweet Jules, but today I wanted to give a Valentine’s Day shout-out to Wisconsin-made Gail Ambrosius truffles.

Gail Ambrosius grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. After some traveling and eventual training in France with Valrhona and Cluizel in 2004, she began producing beautiful, decadent truffles in Madison, Wisc. An enthusiast of single origin, dark chocolate, Ambrosius sources chocolate from around the world—Hawaii, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. Single origin chocolate means the beans are all from the same growing region, sometimes an extremely specific one, and each has subtle differences. Ambrosius works with farmers and importers who understand her passion for single source chocolate and share her values of biodiversity and sustainable agricultural practices. She says, “that sense of mindfulness and respect, learned on my parents’ farm, is something I try to bring to my business every day.”

As for the truffles, whether it’s the classic raspberry truffle (pictured here) made with mouthwatering raspberry puree and crunchy cocoa nibs, or a more exotic lemongrass with ginger truffle that infuses dried organic lemongrass into coconut puree, you’re bound to find something that satisfies. Her “Beerific Taster’s Box” comes with seven truffles and six beer pairing suggestions. Her single-origin collections of truffles and bars offer a petite tour of single source chocolate from around the world, and for those sweethearts out there, a sweetly wrapped “Lover’s Box” includes a heart-shaped caramel, a brandied cherry cordial, and one each of the passionfruit, Lucille's vanilla, cinnamon/cayenne, and rose truffles.

Surdyk's started carrying Gail Ambrosius products last fall, and they’ve got the Lover’s Box, along with a small assortment of truffles, bars, and chocolate “tumbled” dried cherries on their shelves this week. For a bigger selection, shop online and have them shipped directly.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

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