I was speeding along Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard on an electric CitiBike—along Striver’s Row—on a hot, sweaty Autumn evening when I noticed a glint of gold on my left around 139th Street, then spied the Harlem Chocolate Factory distinguished by its shiny gold and chocolate brown awning.
In the patois of an authentic New Yorker, chocolatier Jessica Spaulding says “I’m nevva gonna stop making and eating chocolate, evva!” followed by “Beauty is the bittersweetness of… opportunity and poverty” in her YouTube video, here.
Jessica is a ‘breakout boss’, who even personally photographs the Harlem scenes showcased on the wrappers that adorn her chocolate bars and who specifically crafts the recipes encompassing everything she finds in those areas, her effort being to convey the spectrum of cultural experiences available in Harlem. “I need to make sure everyone along the line is treated fairly. Things like non-fair trade practices are something I think we can eliminate in our lifetime”, she adds.
You oughta see her marbled chocolate and her chocolate and cayenne ganache in her sparkling shop with its open kitchen from which everything comes.
There is a collection of truffles called the Sunday Soul Collection. They’re inspired by classic desserts like the Sweet Potato Pie, Red Velvet Cake, and Banana Pudding. And upcoming? Possibly the ‘Harlem shuffle truffle’ with hints of booze and allusions to the dance.
Any choice here is a terrific NYC souvenir/gift for yourself and friends back home. It will take time before these appear abroad.