It seems that Pioneer Square is full of gems waiting to be discovered. One fascinating establishment is the Intrigue Chocolate Company, located one floor above street level at 76 South Washington Street. Step into the foyer, and at the top of the stairs, you’ll see a billboard propped in front of a persimmon-colored wall, proclaiming “every flavor tells a story”.
The store itself is reminiscent of an apothecary, its shelves lined with potions and herbs. Aaron Barthel is the chocolatier, and Karl Mueller is the marketer in this partnership. Their specialty is truffles and truffle bars crafted from dark chocolate, fresh cream, and all natural ingredients. The heart of Intrigue – and of each morsel of chocolate, is the ganache (mixture of cream and chocolate) that Aaron crafts and flavors with natural ingredients and spices. (No meat extracts are used). Many flavors are available only seasonally, and some flavors appear only once!
You may have tasted orange or bacon flavored chocolate, but the gustatory sensation and melted nuances of flavors in these truffles will give you a brand-new appreciation of the possibilities. You’ll find a new sensory experience wrapped in each confectionary tidbit.
The eight truffle treasures available on the day this article was written were: Grappa, Spiced Cider, Manhattan, Licorice Root, Urfa Biber (named after a region in Turkey, it has a peppery flavor), Molasses and Sea Salt, and in the most unusual flavor category, Everything Bagel. A great variety to tempt you – and to enjoy!
Don’t miss the “hot zombie” nights on First Thursdays when they offer cups of an ambrosial beverage concocted from a selection of truffles that have been melted and combined with cream and sugar. YUM!
Intrigue is open from noon to 6:00 pm Monday thru Friday and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday. Aaron holds regular classes, including Truffle-Making and Flavor Exploration. If you want more information, check their website: www.intriguechocolate.com.