By Cassandra VanKeuren Special to The Herald
Can you get your chocolate buzz on in Marysville? Oh, yes, you can! Just head to St. Rita Supreme Chocolat on State Avenue.
What you’ll find there is a jewel box of a store filled with the most delectable dark chocolate you have ever had.
The owners, a husband and wife team, work together to produce chocolate bars, truffles and hot chocolate. The husband farms the cocoa beans in the Philippines and the wife roasts, grinds and shapes the chocolate for sale. They also sell raw cocoa beans.
Inside you will find a glass case filled with chocolate bars and truffles. On the stands you will see bags of cocoa beans. Two chairs and a fireplace offer a place to sit and enjoy your chocolate.
In back is the kitchen, and the day I was there, the owner was grinding the roasted cocoa beans. There were also extremely large bags of raw cocoa beans piled up in the corner — an obvious reminder that this is truly a homespun operation.
There are free samples so you can explore how dark you want your dark chocolate to be. The cacao content ranges from 50 percent to 95 percent.
Now here is the interesting part: There are no filled truffles or special toppings. The owner stays away from all the trendy flavors and just sticks with pure chocolate. There is also no dairy in the chocolate St. Rita’s produces. So the 50 percent chocolate really just has less chocolate and more cane sugar and cocoa butter.
The other amazing thing is I expected was that the 95 percent chocolate would be bitter. That was not the case. It still had a wonderful dark rich taste, only it was less sweet.
After trying all the chocolate samples, I got that happy chocolate buzz that is so elusive with supermarket chocolate. Just a small amount soothed my cravings.
A large bowl was filled with raw cocoa beans to try. They were mild in flavor and tasted almost like Brazil nuts.
I settled on a box of 75 percent truffles (about $15). There are nine to a box and the truffles were beautiful. There were four roses, two floral printed and two square truffles. They were almost too big to eat in one bite. Almost.
I took them home to my family where my son promptly begged for one more and my husband just closed his eyes and smiled when he had his.
I had a hard time making them last. I could have eaten them all in one sitting. They are that good.
Dark chocolate and raw cocoa beans have some great health benefits. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, lots of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and calcium, and has healthy fats.
Cocoa beans are full of phytochemicals and contain many essential vitamins and minerals.
This should allow you to feel better about indulging in a hunk of dark chocolate on occasion.
So the next time you’re in Marysville, stop by St. Rita Supreme Chocolat and pick up some chocolate for yourself and maybe some for Christmas presents for your friends and your family.
Tell them it’s really a health food and they’ll love it even more.
St. Rita Supreme Chocolat
10208 State Ave., Suite B, Marysville; 425-530-9950 or 425-308-4485; www.stritasupremechocolat.com
Specialty: Dark chocolate
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Price range: $4 to $85
Vegetarian options: Vegan