Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

Candy Manor sign

Cranberries & chocolate


Cape Cod cranberries and chocolate to be precise

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Truth in advertising: Chatham Candy Manor make their chocolates in the kitchen in the back of the store.

On summer vacation this year, Cacaopod & I visited the local chocolatiers in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod. Chatham Candy Manor is kinda old-school, kinda current in their chocolate-making.

Est. in 1955 in a vintage Cape Cod building on Main St., its glass cases are full of mostly traditional candies and chocolates. But they also score points as artisan chocolatiers: They use quality ingredients, they hand-dip their chocolates in their backroom kitchen, and they offer new flavors, such as the current standard salted caramel.

With our vacation buddies, we sampled their hand-dipped dark chocolates, and our consensus was ‘not enough chocolate.’ We liked the salted caramels for the caramel, but the chocolate was MIA. Same with the coconut creme-filled sample: The real pieces of coconut were nice, but there was not enough chocolate to fill out the flavor. The molasses chips also suffered from this lack of balance.

We skipped a lot of the old-fashioned flavors and the truffles, which were all alcohol flavored. We also skipped the marshmallow-based chocolates because they do not make their own marshmallows.

We did find a chocolate to recommend if you’re ever on Cape Cod: Chatham Candy Manor’s cranberry-pecan dark chocolate bark.

Finally, a chocolate candy with enough chocolate. Their dark chocolate really is good, we found, as long as you get something from them that has it in sufficient quantity. The cranberries and pecans were distinctive too without overpowering the chocolate.

They offer other nut barks, but this is the one we’d seek out again. And if we can’t make it, it’s available from their online shop.

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Published August 5, 2010