A favorite food of many, it’s not hard to imagine why chocolate has long been considered a divine, indulgent treat invoking love, passion and even (gasp) greedy, secretive hoarding. Here in Santa Cruz, we are lucky enough to have our choice of locally made upscale chocolates for every occasion, even if that occasion is just going out to enjoy, well, chocolate. Santa Cruz even has an annual Chocolate Festival, complete with a Chocoholic of the Year award for those who consider chocolate the fifth major food group. Good, artisan chocolate is made with heart and skill from carefully sourced, quality ingredients. And local chocolatiers have as much enthusiasm for making their products as others do for eating them. With choices from raw, vegan truffles to chocolate covered bacon to decadent fair trade sipping chocolate, Santa Cruz is a chocolate mecca for both the purist and the adventurous cacao bean addicts among us.
Originally published February 12, 2016