In a town renowned for its artisans, it’s no surprise to find the ultimate eye candy at The Chocolate Fetish in downtown Asheville.
Owned for the last 15 years by Bill and Sue Foley, the Chocolate Fetish has won numerous awards and accolades from around the globe. Daughter, Elizabeth Foley, pursued a career in art before turning her gaze to chocolate. Having trained with some of the finest chocolatiers in the world, Elizabeth uses her artist’s eye and skilled hands to create photorealistic seashells, flowers, ribbons and other seasonal specialties, in addition to magnificent chocolate sculptures for centerpieces and other culinary displays.
The aroma of chocolate is the first sensory clue that you’re walking into somewhere special. Once inside, your eyes land on showcases full of truffles, caramels and other sweet treats. As your eyes glaze over the beautiful candies displayed like gems in a fine art setting, one of the friendly Chocolate Fetish staff will offer you a mouth-watering sample. Say “Yes!”
A glass case in the center of the store exhibits a seasonal arrangement of molded and tinted chocolates worthy of a museum. All chocolates and specialties are made in the chocolate kitchen in the back of the store.
Side shelves feature various assortments of boxed chocolates, truffles and seasonal specialties you can grab for a quick gift. Those with serious chocolate fixations appreciate a more personal approach and the Chocolate Fetish makes it easy for them. All of the confections in the display cases can be purchased individually, or hand-picked and placed into gift boxes. Check out the delightful chocolate high-heel shoes, champagne bottles or layer cakes filled with wrapped truffles. You can buy these off the shelf, or order them to your own colors and specifications for special occasions.
Each confection has its own recipe developed by the Foleys and is enrobed in their secret blend of five European chocolates. Among the various individual chocolates you’ll find toffees, caramels, nut chews, truffles and bars. Among the most popular are the sea salt caramels, which are buttery, chewy and seriously addictive. While all of these are exquisite enough, the truffles are sheer decadence.
The Chocolate Fetish makes three styles of truffles in a wide assortment of flavors. America’s Best Truffles have a firm center and are enrobed in premium American chocolate. Ecstasy Truffles have softer centers in the European tradition and are covered in European chocolate. The Ecstasy Elite truffles are European in style, but seriously creative in blend. Imagine dark chocolate ganache tinted with subtle lemon zest, ginger and saffron, enrobed in dark chocolate and garnished with a crystalized violet petal and you have the Blossom Ecstasy Truffle. Or how about dark chocolate ganache infused with rich red wine and the essence of roses? That would be the Wine and Roses Ecstasy Truffle and it’s heavenly. You might have to try a few different kinds to find your favorite, but it’s worth the effort.
For those with a serious need to see chocolate-making in action, the Chocolate Fetish offers “Through the Glass” guided tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. Tours are $5 per person and includes information about the history of chocolate, tips on buying and cooking with good chocolate, and samples.
The “Through the Glass” tour includes a variety of luscious chocolate samples. That and the take-home gift is worth planning your visit during one of the tour times. Space is limited, so be sure to call ahead to reserve your place in the tour: (828) 258-2353.