Last week, I stopped into Lune Chocolat, in Manlius, to visit with owners Mike and Emily Woloszyn. Established in September 2011, they have turned a small, local chocolate shop into one that serves the United Kingdom, Canada and other parts of the globe.
Mike told me a story: About a week ago, a man entered the shop and, in a thick British accent, said, “Give me one of everything.” He ordered about 30 pieces of premium chocolates. Soon after the visit, he placed a sizable order to be shipped to London for the “Taste of New York Collection” being sold throughout Europe.
Where do the ideas for the chocolates come from? In short, everywhere and everyone is a source for the creations.
For example, Mike told me about a recent challenge from a woman planning a wedding for her daughter. The family, Mike said, loves potato dumplings. He reached into the display case and pulled out a white chocolate and handed it to me. Honestly, it was a challenge for me to look interested in tasting this one, because I am not a fan of white chocolate … or of potato dumplings. But I (somewhat) reluctantly bit into this “experiment,” and I am now a fan of Lune Chocolat white chocolate treats.
The Woloszyns make “Pomegranate Martini” and a “Gin & Tonic Lime Truffle” chocolate using a local source: Beak & Skiff’s 1911 Spirits Vodka, made with 1911’s distilled apple vodka and gin.
The local sourcing doesn’t end there. Lune Chocolat buys at several area farmers markets; a Kriemhild Dairy Farms, just outside of Peterboro; squash, pumpkins, apples and pears at a neighboring store in Manlius, Side Hill Farmers; and at Seneca Salt Company, which makes a culinary flake salt used in Lune’s salted caramel creations.
Last week, Lune Chocolat began a relationshiop with Recess Coffee they are calling a “brother company.” Lune will use their coffee to add an ongoing shelf item: “English Butter Toffee.”
Mike said the chocolates are “fresh, fresh, fresh.” Because they are small-batch chocolates, the recommended shelf life is three weeks, and Mike says they are best kept at room temperature. I find it hard to imagine any sitting uneaten on a shelf for three weeks. Maybe three hours. My favorites are the “Caramel Pyramids” and the “Elderberry Pancake.”
Hanukkah starts Thanksgiving Day, and Lune makes a “Jelly Donut Truffle” that has been a Hanukkah favorite for years. They also offer “Latka Truffles, “Apple Cake Chocolate” and a “Local Honey and Olive Oil” chocolate for the holiday.
For Christmas, aside from the usual 30 or so offerings on the shelf, Lune has a “Christmas Five-Piece” box containing English sugar plums dipped in chocolate and chocolates flavored with peppermint, freshly roasted chestnuts, sugar cookie and eggnog.
Lune Chocolat is at 315 Fayette St., Suite 5, Manlius. Holiday hours begin Dec. 1; it wiill be open six days a week, closed on Sundays. Please call ahead (315-692-4173) for hours. Order online at www.facebook.com/luneauchocolat.
Lune will offer samples and sell their products at the SyracuseFirst “Buy Local Bash” Monday, Nov. 25 at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology.
And please Buy Local when you can.