Friday, April 2, 2010
Hatch Family Chocolates
'We all have our weaknesses in life...'
I have a confession to make: I'm a chocolaholic. I need to eat a piece of chocolate every day...even if it's just a little bite. I know I have a problem...I'm addicted but acknowledging you have a problem is the first step right? There are a number of places to go to get my chocolate fix around Salt Lake City but one of my favorites is Hatch Family Chocolates. Located in the Avenues neighborhood of SLC, this family run chocolate shop offers a variety of chocolate confections, as well as ice cream, coffee, and espresso. If I'm in the neighborhood (or sometimes even if I'm across town) I'll swing by this candy shop for some sweet relief.
One really cool aspect of their store is that all of the chocolate is made and dipped by hand. That means if you've got a chocolate covered caramel, they not only roll out the caramel by hand but then they dip individual pieces into different chocolates by hand as well. Now that's dedication and true artistry - not to mention time consuming. Most chocolate places use a conveyor belt system to "enrobe" their candies in chocolate giving them an endless supply. I like the fact that at Hatch, it truly is a hands-on affair for these chocolatiers. It also means that everything in the cases is pretty fresh; however, that also means there is a limited supply of particular candies. So they can and do run out of candy quickly...therefore, if you see what you want - get it.
There are different chocolates that fill the cases but some of my favorites include the dark chocolate caramels, the haystack, orange creams, and the chocolate covered dates. I love the bitter taste and chalky feel of dark, dark chocolate. It makes for a great contrast with the sweetness of Hatch's smooth, soft, rich and creamy caramels. Orange and chocolate is another great combination and not only are the flavors paired nicely in Hatch's orange creams, the thick layer of chocolate is also a great textural contrast to the orange cream's gooey center. Although I mostly indulge in dark chocolates, I also believe there is a time and a place for milk chocolate. Hatch's haystacks offer a nice milk chocolate bite amidst crisp, toasted coconut - another classic flavor combination. And an interesting fruit filled delicacy to try is the milk chocolate covered date. It's a date stuffed with nougat, covered in chocolate and walnuts. It's sweet, savory, and fleshy all in one bite. It's got some fruit in it, so it's healthy right? In addition to an array of different chocolates, Hatch also serves up some specialty desserts. Need a last minute dessert for a dinner party? Pick up a few of Hatch's chocolate pot de cremes. These creamy little chocolate puddings go a long way to end any meal just right; they also work as a great afternoon snack...with whip cream or without.
Neighborhood chocolate stores are becoming a thing of the past. So it's nice to see a shop like Hatch's doing well. It's perfectly located in a place where you can drop by, get a sweet treat and move along. And I often find myself doing just that. It doesn't take much for me to fill my chocolate addiction. Just one of Hatch's little creations usually is enough to curb my craving. But when I enter the shop and get the whiff of all that chocolate in the air, I usually end up stocking up on a few things. We all have our weaknesses in life...and I am an addict after all.
Hatch Family Chocolates ~ Salt Lake City, Utah
390 4th Avenue
Co-owners: Steve and Katie Hatch
note: Steve, Katie, and the gang at Hatch Family Chocolates appear weekly (every Tuesday night) on the cable channel TLC in their own reality show/documentary series called Little Chocolatiers.