Local chocolates can fill stomachs and warm hearts

What’s the best way to a girl’s heart? Through her stomach. Lucky for all you high school boys there are three delicious chocolate shops within ten minutes of CHS, including Pieces of Heaven, See’s Candies and Lula’s Chocolates.lulas

Pieces of Heaven, located in The Barnyard, is a hidden treasure. Toffees and truffles and turtles, oh my! You know when people talk about a kid in a candy shop? That kid, it’s me. Standing inside the little two-by-four room in Pieces of Heaven, my eyes get wide and my heart starts to beat fast.

Pieces of Heaven’s specialty is their truffles. Biting into the truffle is like softly breaking into an eggshell full of the most luscious, velvety soft cream. Any flavor of truffle would be the right flavor to choose, although the white chocolate is a stand-out. I was bamboozled when biting into it. I found the center was milk chocolate! Completely mind-blowing and out-of-this-world delicious. Other yummy treats worth that second bite include their chocolate turtles, salted caramels and nut- and chocolate-encrusted toffee.

See’s Candies is located in Del Monte Center. With its bigger than life name, the chocolates don’t always live up to the hype. The chocolate itself is perfection. It makes me want to sit in front of the TV and just eat large masses of their milk chocolate, but when I’m not fantasizing of doing that, I enjoy eating the Milk Bordeaux, a milk chocolate shell filled with a brown sugar butter cream. I also enjoy their Milk Cocoanut and Milk Buttercream. The problem is that compared to Pieces of Heaven’s truffles, See’s truffles are sub-par. They are made to last, so they don’t taste as fresh as the others because they aren’t.

See’s Candies are simply reliable. They have good chocolates at a fair price, but they aren’t my chocolate of choice.

If you’re in the mood for caramels, Lula’s Chocolate is the way to go. Located in The Crossroads, they have by far the best caramels. They have a large variety such as chocolate-covered, nut-filled and, my favorite, salted. They have a huge selection of salted caramels including Merlot-infused, Chili Verde and, of course, the traditional sea salt caramels. The caramels are made with the owner’s Grandma Lula’s delicious recipe, and the salt comes right out of the Monterey Bay.

These chocolates might drain your teenage wallet, though. My beloved salt caramels were $5.95 for just four ounces and a nine-piece box of chocolates is $19.95, as compared to a ten-piece box of chocolates from Pieces of Heaven or See’s for around $10.

No matter where you get your chocolates from, your valentine will appreciate the thought and the sweet treats.

-Helaine Ridilla