Last week when I was in Denver for the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference, my friend James took me into a wonderful little chocolate shop on Platte Street. It's called Wen Chocolates, and was founded in 2003 by William Poole and Loren Penton.
All of the chocolates are produced by hand, and have no preservatives or stabilizers. I was especially intrigued by the antique molds that they use to make some of the candies. Just gazing into the candy case is a treat as these chocolates are truly works of art.
But what good is chocolate if you're just looking at it, right? I sampled a piece of rosemary dark chocolate and it was divine. The rich dark chocolate with just a subtle touch of rosemary made me very happy. I also sampled a piece of the Savannah, which is dark chocolate infused with vodka, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and hot Hungarian pepper. It's really lovely topped with a little piece of chili mango and has quite a kick. Steven, who was working in the store that day, told me that Paula Deen's sons had been in and taken some of the Savannah chocolates back to Paula and she loved them. How could she not? Some of the other flavor choices for truffles include bourbon-vanilla, citrona, and kaffir lime.
I also loved the "deviled egg" chocolates they had last week. I guess the egg white half was white chocolate and the yellow filling was chocolate colored with some type of natural ingredient and combined with Rice Krispies to give it texture. Such a fun idea for the season. You can order any of these chocolates online, and I can assure you that you'll have a hard time deciding which ones are the best.
And in case your were wondering, the word "Wen" comes from an ancient Egyptian word meaning "to exist." If you find yourself in downtown Denver, walk over to Platte Street and indulge your senses.