Chocolatier: Sugar? Nah, honey, honey
Founded in 2009, Araya Artisan Chocolate is a family-owned specialty chocolate boutique led by Venezuelan chocolatier Stefano Zullian. The store offers premium chocolate bars, truffles and other confectionery creations in unexpected, but intriguing, flavor combinations, such as cayenne pepper and lemon zest, curry with orange peel and pecans, and bacon and almond. "The nice thing about bacon is that the smoky flavor is like a caramel, so when you combine that with chocolate … it's a wonderful combination," Zullian said.
ADDRESS: 2013 W. Gray St.
HOURS: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday
OWNER: Stefano Zullian, Carla Susi, Silvana Susi
WHAT YOU'LL FIND: "We use a very expensive Venezuelan chocolate," Zullian said. "We ended up using that one, not because we are from Venezuela, but because it's regarded as the best in the world. We are committed to using and finding the best of the best and incorporating that into the chocolate."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "We try to avoid, as much as we can, sugar or the very sweet, and we try to stay on the bitter side of the chocolate … When we make chocolate, our creations, we don't add sugar — we use honey instead — and … that allows us to use much less sugar (and have less calories), but have the same amount of sweetness in the chocolate." -Stefano Zullian, co-owner
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