It was a dark and stormy night the first time I entered Donnelly Chocolates. Well, all right, it was a pretty average night. Probably actually a rather nice night. But it was night anyway. I was on my way home from Santa Cruz and definitely not looking for a chocolate shop. Still, Donnelly caught my eye, and, well, I don’t often say no to chocolate, so I stopped.
Oh how glad I am that I did, for inside this little shop was a whole new world of chocolates.
Immediately upon entering, Richard Donnelly himself offered us some samples. That was all it took. My husband summed up the experience rather nicely: “If you do not want to spend (at least) $5 on a chocolate-covered caramel, WHEN HE OFFERS YOU A TASTE, YOU SHOULD SAY NO!” Once you’ve tried it, walking away isn’t an option.
I cannot even begin to put into words what makes these chocolates so special. Obviously, they are made with the finest ingredients by someone very skilled in using them. But it’s more than that. The instant the caramel reaches your tongue, you can tell this is something special. Donnelly has clearly poured his heart and soul into his craft, but even that does not account for the extraordinary perfection of these caramels. There is a touch of magic in them, too. Nothing else could explain what makes them so much better than even high quality caramels elsewhere.
As I have said before, I am a connoisseur of fine chocolates and have literally looked for them across the world. A number of magazines have named Donnelly’s chocolates one of the ten best, including National Geographic which named it one of the ten best chocolate shops in the world. I believe it, for I have almost certainly never had a better caramel.