Amongst Florida’s many claims to fame including being the land of spring breakers, bizarre crimes, oranges, and stone crabs, the Sunshine State can also add world class chocolate to the list. You may be surprised to know that Florida is home to some of the world’s best bean-to-bar chocolate. This exciting discovery has chocoholics everywhere itching to take a trip to the sweet southern state.
In 2013 Denise Castronovo, the creator of Castronovo Chocolates, set up shop in Stuart, Florida to make her one of a kind chocolates, and Castronovo’s journey has been one filled with positive praise and accolades. In fact, the chocolatier is the only female chocolate maker in the U.S. to have ever been honored at the International Chocolate Awards. Castronovo took home awards for her captivating chocolate creations at the international event in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Over the years Castronovo’s chocolates have won over 26 awards. The Sierra Nevada chocolate alone has won eight awards, including the prestigious gold medal during the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards. What makes the chocolate so unique is the fact that it’s made mostly with heirloom varieties of cocoa beans. This variety of beans is one Castronovo can get her hands on given her unique location. Because of its proximity to Latin America, Florida has allowed Castronovo to access a host of heirloom varieties she otherwise wouldn’t have.
And you won’t be needing to take a special trip to Florida to get your hands on this sweet stuff, just check out Castronovo Chocolate’s website. But if you’re hoping to get a taste of their fast-selling chocolate chip cookies ― made with their chocolate, of course ― then get ready to travel because they’re only available on site. However, let’s face it some treats are worth traveling for.