In Latin, chocolate’s name - theobroma cacao - means “food of the gods.” The gods surely have smiled on Wisconsin where candy lovers can find some of the best chocolate in the Midwest. Here’s an assortment of some of the Badger state’s best.
Opened in 1932 by Joseph Beerntsen, this institution makes more than 125 different candies, including butter almond toffee, turtles, and fairy food. Owner Dean Schadrie recently began making a special line of European dark chocolate truffles.
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier
Former cartographer Gail Ambrosius imports her chocolate from all over the globe. Her all-dark chocolate truffles have been known to make Odessa Piper (founder of Madison’s L’Etoile Restaurant) cry - they’re that good. Try her gold-dusted, 99-percent cacao truffle.
Kehr’s hand-dipped chocolates have been making Milwaukeeans smile since 1930. Try the tempting meltaways, real-cream caramels, and intriguing truffles—like the red hot pepper chocolate. “The best part of my job is coming up with new recipes,” says owner Paul Marinka.
These hand-dipped beauties have found their way into the pages of Newsweek and Better Homes & Gardens magazines. Try the mint, the caramel pecan, or the double chocolate-on-chocolate truffle. New recipe: the tartlet - a cookie crust shell filled with a chocolate ganache.
The American Club
Every year in November, this five-diamond resort hosts an all-you-can-taste culinary event titled In Celebration of Chocolate, which features some of the wildest chocolate fantasies imaginable. The rest of the year, enjoy Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates, including Kohler’s terrapins, a modern twist on chocolate turtles.
Hughes' Home Maid Chocolates
Now in their third generation of candy makers, Hughes has been creating and selling their fan-favorite chocolates in the basement of the original family home since 1940. It may be a basement, but it’s immaculate. The turtles, the crèmes, the meltaways - are all still the original family recipes. They’re only open September through May, ‘cause good chocolate melts in the summer.
Since 1956 this corner confectioner has specialized in fresh, small-batch chocolates, made with the finest ingredients. Each Wilmar chocolate is handmade, hand cut, hand wrapped, and hand packed. These are not your Snicker-doddles. These are Wilmarvel turtles and caramel nut logs and chocolate-covered cherries that look, well - marvelous - and taste even better.
De Pere, WI
You could say these guys have a bit of experience; Seroogy’s has been a De Pere fixture since 1899. Brothers Jim and Joe are third generation master chocolatiers who have expanded the original family lineup to more than 300 killer confections. Their holiday candies are legend – try the glaceed apricots, or the cashew brittle.