Deciding it was time to start the Christmas shopping, I bit the bullet and headed into Bregenz and as a self proclaimed chocoholic my first stop was naturally Xocolat.
With shops already open in Graz, St. Pölten, Linz, Baden and three in Vienna, Xocolat has recently made it’s way to Bregenz. Martina Homann-Dellantonio the owner, is originally from Vorarlberg and led the production in Xocolat Vienna for five years developing a lot of the Xocolat products. Luckily for us Martina and husband Alex decided to move back to Vorarlberg, and bring her chocolate with her.
As soon as you walk in the door you are in chocolate heaven. The smell is just amazing and everywhere you look the shelves are piled high with goodies. I was literally a kid in a candy store. They make most of the chocolates on the premises, especially the pralines and truffles, hence the amazing aroma making it near impossible not to want to buy everything in sight. The kitchen is also completely open and so you can see the magic happen.
I must have walked around the shop over four times as I could not decide what to buy and I knew I had to show some self restraint. Therefore my boyfriend was in luck as I bought him most of the treats, including chocolate covered coffee beans that go so well with a nice cup of coffee, and some chilli chocolate.
Their chocolate bars quite frankly look too good to eat (although they still didn’t last long in our house). My favourite had to be the gorgeous handmade dark chocolate with mint, decorated with mint leaves and silver. Hands down beats the after eight mints that get passed around at my parents house. Their chocolate bars are definitely something to indulge in with jasmine flower or rose petals decorated with gold or dark chocolate and violet.
If you’re not looking for something quite so fancy, then try their hazelnut and raisin, ginger and pineapple, or candied orange bar and if you really can’t decide then just pick up a goodie bag with a mix of different pieces. Me and Roger enjoyed sharing one of these, with me eating all of the milk
chocolate pieces and him the dark chocolate. Perfect. What I really liked was that the different flavours didn’t overpower the beautiful handmade chocolate and I’ll admit that the bag did not last long.
However, the display cabinet full of pralines and truffles is where things really get exciting with an amazing selection of both traditional and modern flavours. Think gin, rum, champagne, amaretto, absinthe, tiramisu, nougat, rose marzipan, strawberry yoghurt, white chocolate mousse and salted caramel, just to name a few. Every customer
that came in took quite a while trying to decide what to fill their beautiful gift box with. My favourite is salted caramel and nougat, just in case anyone was thinking of buying me some.
I got to chat with both Alex and Martina on my visit and she was telling me how she loves just how much you can do with chocolate from the bars to
truffles, to amazing chocolate sculptures, admitting her favourite thing to make was currently their chocolate snowmen for Christmas.
Originally trained as a pastry chef Martina told me she did sometimes miss working with cakes and the gorgeous aroma of croissants and brioche, and who can blame her. Therefore keep an eye on their Facebook page as she has been known to bake up a storm and offer freshly made cakes and baked goods and that is definitely something you don’t want to miss out on.
Feature photo credit @Xocolat