It's Halloween, which means tricks and treats for kids of all ages. But our Hungry Hound is thinking about treats for those refined palates, and he has found some sweets that will appeal to grown-ups of any age.
From sweets to ice cream, there are sweet treats of all shapes, sizes and cocoa contents, to satisfy those of us with more discerning tastes. There's nothing wrong with the candy you'll get trick or treating tonight, but wouldn't it be great to sit down with something a little more refined? We found three options that will be sure to satisfy.
Why should kids have all the chocolatey fun on Halloween? There are several stores in the area now carrying colorful chocolates from The Cocoa Room, a South Loop-based company that turns chocolate-covered nuts, seeds and pistachios into elegant boxed gifts.
"I looked into the chocolate industry and found that there was no colorful boxed chocolate that you could purchase as a gift, and we developed the company around that concept of color, and mixing different chocolate covered nuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, things like that, in order to make a really beautiful product," said Suzanne Weaver, The Cocoa Room.
It's not just chocolate candy that's hot. Consider the single origin chocolate ice creams from a new West Coast-based company called Choctal, now available at local Treasure Island stores.
"To me it means it's coming from one specific country. So all the cacao the chocolate is made out of, is grown in, say Ecuador, or Brazil, or Ghana or Cameroon, and so I look for sources of different chocolate and cocoa powder from those specific areas around the world," said Marc Boatwright, Choctal Ice Cream.
And worldly influences certainly play a role in the massive selection of hand-made treats Bon Bon Chocolatier in Andersonville.
"I like to provide just about everything, to satiate every customer's needs, so we have everything from exotic to mainstream; liquors, we have traditional stuff like turtles and toffee," said Elizabeth Hulme-Zuverink, Bon Bon Chocolatier.
There are seasonal treats, such as chocolate skulls for Day of the Dead, but there's also an emphasis on unique flavor combinations.
"I have the chile de arbol, ceylon cinnamon pyramids which are really popular; we have things like garam masala buddhas, and dark with ginger," said Hulme-Zuverink.
While kids might want more basic treats, adults will find plenty to love here, especially when it comes to sweet gift-giving.
"They still like the novelties. They still like the gift-giving aspect of something unique that they can't get anywhere else," said Hulme-Zuverink.
The options are endless in Chicago, from Bittersweet on Belmont, to Ambrosia in Barrington, even the high-end Vosges, with locations downtown and in Lincoln Park.