This morning I awoke to a crisp breeze creeping through the window and sliding across my room. I live nestled in the Tahoe mountains, twenty miles from Dorinda’s Chocolates; a short drive to the Reno chocolate shop. As it is only mid-September, I was not expecting to don the heavy boots now on my feet, nor was I anticipating the North Face jacket that I grabbed last minute on my way out the door. The thermometer in my truck reported a temperature of forty degrees fahrenheit, something I would expect on a ski day at North Star or Squaw Valley, but not a week after I spent Labor Day barbecuing in shorts. As I contemplated turning my seat warmer on, I realized with resignation that Autumn was already in the air, and chocolate production would have to adapt in response to the season.

Serendipitously, but not to my surprise, I arrived at the Reno chocolate shop to a new smell to match the season. The chocolatiers had released the Pumpkin Spice Truffle, and already there were rows upon rows of the delicious little chocolate truffles, waiting to be distributed to eager customers. Upon walking into the kitchen, I approached the head chocolatier, and he handed me a handcrafted morsel with a look of smug satisfaction.

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The chocolate truffle was semi-spherical in shape, the outer layer was 35% cacao milk chocolate, garnished with an all natural orange chocolate drizzle, and inside was a smooth and creamy ganache that was simply delightful. I’m not a fan of pumpkin spice season, nor am I overly excited about the sheepskin boots and leggings that it brings. However, I am definitely a believer in this chocolate creation. Its gentle and bold smoothness within the milk chocolate shell took the edge off my unexpected morning chill, and decidedly lifted my spirits.

With Summer almost officially over, it is easy to find yourself in a funk; less ice cream, more pumpkin and wine; no shorts, more leggings. However, It is comforting to know that flavors will change with the seasons here at Dorinda’s Chocolates, and exclusive tastes will follow us into autumn. Rest assured that no matter how cold and forlorn the coming season may appear, the pumpkin spice truffle will go a long way in providing a simple chocolate comfort.  

This is one of many chocolate flavors that Dorinda’s Chocolates offers. If you are curious on how chocolate is made, the history of chocolate, the types and kinds of chocolate, or the many chocolate flavours check out some of our other blogs or feel free to contact us via phone or email!

The Reno Riverside chocolate shop has seen substantial growth over the last few years. On top of the organic growth that comes with a steady economy, Dorinda’s Chocolates is encountering a brand new demographic yearning for a taste of rolled ice cream. This new creation by partner company, Rolled Mountain Creamery has attracted a brand new collection of people with young energy.

This new crowd comes from the Instagram and Snapchat generation; a crowd fueled by trends and the new. Although these young people still smile when they bite into a sea salt caramel, chocolate covered cherry, or truffle they want what they haven’t seen before, and so they order the rolled ice cream. Chocolate shops commonly feature ice cream as a one-stop-shop for sweets, but this is entirely unique to the world of confections.

 

 

The idea began when Dorinda’s sons (Dillon and Dustin Vance) saw the opportunity for a niche market for rolled ice cream. Dillon, who served in the US Marine Corps, first saw this form of ice cream on deployment in South Korea and knew that the people back home would fall in love with it. Dustin, who is the mastermind behind Dorinda’s Chocolates everyday creations, came up with a handcrafted ice cream recipe that not only rolled smooth when applied to freezing temperatures, but didn’t separate under heavy versatile use. Together they introduced Reno’s first rolled ice cream shop, and with it ice cream customers to Dorinda’s Chocolates.

Dorinda’s Chocolates and their partner, Rolled Mountain Creamery, stay true to their trade and take handcrafted to a new level. The quaint little Reno chocolate shop now features gorgeous alder wood built-ins, handcrafted by Dorinda’s husband. The growing chocolate shop has found a balance between the quaint and the professional, the young and the old. It would seem that the company is headed beyond truffles and handcrafted chocolate, and into the realm of all things simple, delicate and sweet.

Visit Rolled Mountain Creamery’s website at http://rolledmountaincreamery.com/

Chocolate has a very involved history with the birth of the United States and the American revolution. The founding fathers didn’t quite have the access to handcrafted chocolate, sea salt caramels, and luxury truffles as we know them today. However, they did have a close proximity to South American cacao producers and it’s no surprise that chocolate made an early appearance in American culture and economics.

Benjamin Franklin himself got in on the early American chocolate craze, and even sold chocolate out of his printing shop in Philadelphia. Since cocoa beans weren’t taxed by the British government, Americans quickly found a way to incorporate drinking chocolate beverages into their day as a substitute for tea. Something had to replace all of those barrels floating around the Boston Harbor.

Just as chocolate increased in popularity, so did chocolate producers in the colonies. By the beginning of the revolutionary war, there were more chocolate factories in America than there were in England, and most of them were co-located with grain and wheat mills and distributed chocolate to the communities living in the surrounding areas. This is around the time chocolate began to establish itself as an American favorite, and gained the adoration of the soon-to-be leader of the Continental Army, George Washington!

George Washington developed a taste for chocolate, and even went as far as ensuring its inclusion into his soldiers’ rations. As the war raged on, access to luxuries from Europe became increasingly scarce, and chocolate was a consistent pleasure that the colonists could rely on. Access to products and finances often became scarce enough that Washington paid his soldiers in chocolate bricks. A pound of chocolate even became a pseudo-currency among the colonies, boosting morale, and assisting in the fight for independence against England.

Everyone loves chocolate – including Hollywood! Producers know just how to capture and relate to their audience and it’s especially easy if it involves America’s beloved tasty treat! From movies to shows, chocolate has been America’s favorite star. Numerous screenplays center on chocolate from Like Water for Chocolate to Chocolat to The Chocolate War, proving that chocolate is an incredibly powerful force guiding human lives. Whether inducing tears, melancholy, love or joy, chocolate sends a special message to audiences everywhere.

Scene from Chocolat

(Scene from Chocolat)

When talking about movies that center around chocolate, We can’t overlook Warner Brother’s 1970 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Nothing inspires children like the scene where Charlie barely folds back the chocolate wrapper to expose a wonderful winning ticket. Chocolate really is gold, and was only further evidenced by the 2005 remake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, making the world of chocolate even more fun and fantastical. As the famous movies taught us, a little bit of chocolate and “pure imagination” can shape the world.

We can’t forget Forrest Gump’s famous line: “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” The 1994 film simply and eloquently puts the world into perspective – surprises will happen, and all will be sweet. Through the medium of chocolate, Forrest teaches audiences that life is to be savored even if full of unexpected twists and turns, each being as sweet as you make it.

And then, there’s the friendship that chocolate brings. In 2001, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley’s bond instantly solidifies as the chocolate frog leaps out the train window on the students way to Hogwarts. 

(Chocolate Frog from Harry Potter)

Chocolate provides comical relief as well in the 1950s television series I Love Lucy. Lucy clumsily grabs chocolates off the conveyor belt, cramming them into her hat, her shirt, and apron while simultaneously gobbling them up. The black and white comedy makes chocolate hilariously memorable. Chocolate breaks the TV ice with chaos, and in mockery of itself becomes just as fun to watch as it is to eat!

Continuing to look back in time, Don Draper becomes surprisingly nostalgic to Hershey’s executives in the 2015 Mad Men finale. It’s chocolate that breaks down the stoic antihero, allowing the audience to see real emotion for the first time.  Chocolate is a television vehicle for bonding and true connection between one another and ourselves.

Chocolate is timeless. It moves people on and off the screen, through all stages of life. It shrouds actors and viewers in passion and warmth, joy and sadness. Chocolate breaks the barriers between people, providing important that important link between each other, on and off the silver screen. 

This morning at the Reno chocolate shop began as any other Thursday morning; the Dorinda’s Chocolates team was prepping the kitchen for the daily chocolate production; tempering chocolate and tasting the latest truffles the chocolatiers have handcrafted. The marketing team had finished their early meeting and began their daily internet campaign, spreading the word about the fair trade chocolate products they are so passionate about. Upstairs, the administrative section of the small family chocolate business began directing their efforts at billing and organizing all of the moving parts that come with running a company that spans Reno, Squaw Valley, and North Star. All operations were ordinary with an initial exception; police officers began gathering outside on the cobblestones, performing perimeter checks and assuming tactical positions. After a prompt questioning performed by the Dorinda’s Chocolates cashier, their prerogative was revealed; Hillary Clinton would be visiting the small Reno Business and its neighbors within a matter of minutes.

Hurriedly, the entire staff donned their aprons, created a chocolate platter, and assembled a gift box for the presidential candidate’s arrival. Within minutes, the courtyard in front of Dorinda’s Chocolates was flooded with secret service agents, police, media, photographers, campaign staff, and hopeful onlookers trying to steal a moment with the democratic party champion. Amidst the controlled chaos was Dorinda and her son Dustin smiling in their purple aprons, and holding a tray of chocolate Sea Salt Caramels. Patiently, they stood outside of the shop as their two marketing team members took positions, cameras at the ready.

Just as the secret service agents began ushering Madame Clinton and her retinue back to the motorcade, the lady herself locked eyes and took the outstretched hand of Dorinda and paused her busy schedule to pay her respects to the small business owner. Swarming, the media snapped hundreds of photos and recorded the entire interaction between the two women, which was warm and genuine, because after all, everybody’s heart is warm while eating chocolate. Just as expected, Hillary was no different; her eyes widened with unexpected joy as she bit into one of Dorinda’s award-winning sea salt caramels. 

Similarly, Presidential Candidate Barack Obama visited a small Seattle-based chocolate company in 2008, called Fran’s Chocolates. In the years since, Fran’s has expanded momentously, riding off the coveted presidential seal of approval. Having a presidential candidate endorse a small business such as this Reno chocolate shop, should have an enormous impact on sales and marketing, to be sure. The question remains however; can Dorinda’s Sea Salt Caramel capture the heart of Hillary Clinton? Only time will tell, but for the present moment, it was anything but an ordinary Thursday for the Reno chocolate shop.

When you were young your parents may have told you that eating too much chocolate would make you sick. They were only partly correct!  There are many health benefits to eating chocolate as long as you don’t over-indulge. 

 

The following are some of the amazing benefits of eating chocolate:

1) Scientific test results show that eating one to two servings of dark chocolate a week can reduce the risk of heart failure.

2) Dark chocolate also acts as a natural cough suppressant, much like cough syrup. Although, unlike cough suppressants, chocolate won’t leave you feeling drowsy due to the theobromine in chocolate.

3) Dark chocolate can actually help you lose weight as well! It is light and filling, and may help lessen your desire to eat less salty and fatty foods.

4) Eating chocolate reduces stress! When you are overwhelmed or overworked, enjoy a few pieces of chocolate and it will help you relax. It has been proven that pregnant mothers who eat chocolate deal with stress better and actually have happier children once their babies are born. 

5) Clear, healthy skin is another positive result. Eating chocolate regularly also increases your skin’s ability to resist sunburn for a longer period of time.

6) Most importantly, eating dark chocolate leads to a higher level of intelligence. Chocolate boosts blood flow to the brain, increasing brain power and alertness for two to four hours. People that eat more dark chocolate have scored higher on cognitive tests than those who do not. 

 

What else could you ask for in this delicious food product? At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we search for the perfect combination of dark chocolate and natural ingredients. The Naked 70% is a perfect example!  Made of 70% dark chocolate ganache and hand rolled in 70% dark chocolate, this piece meets the requirements for benefiting your health and increasing your intelligence level! That means we should all just eat more chocolate!

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