I went into Edelweiss Chocolates in Beverly Hills, not to buy chocolates but to buy their white Jordan almonds which I always keep handy in a silver sugar bowl.
“That’s it?” the lady behind the cash register said, casting her eyes in the direction of the case full of beautiful chocolate confections.
“Yeah, that’s it,” I said.
But Steve Zahir, the owner of the shop who was busily arranging his inventory, does not tolerate indifference to chocolate.
“Come in the back. I’ll show you how we do it,” he said.
“Oh,” I said, surprised. ”Okay!” I love it when a minor adventure presents itself unexpectedly.
Four employees were busy in the spotless back rooms of the shop, meticulously cutting toffee bars and dipping pretzels in dark chocolate.
The business has been on Canon Drive since 1942—Lucille Ball was a regular then—but some of the equipment dates back much further. A mixing vat, all gleaming copper and big enough to bathe a toddler in, was manufactured in 1912.
“Here, take one,” Steve said, offering me one of the pretzels. The chocolate it was dipped in was so dark and deep, it was soulful. Plus it gave me a rush that sustained me for a good four hours.
When we went back to the front of the store, I reviewed the inventory with new respect. I could not leave without buying a couple dozen of their famed chocolate-covered, Halloween themed Oreos, (some of which have pumpkin filling, no less).
If you would like a brief tutorial in the secrets of producing fine chocolate treats, go to Edelweiss and see if Steve is in the mood to give you one. Or, just buy stuff. (And I don’t mean Jordan almonds.)
Edelweiss Chocolate Factory, Inc.
444 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Jessica Harper is an actor/author who lives in Los Angeles and New York. Her latest book is "The Crabby Cook Cookbook," and she also blogs at http://www.jessicaharper.com and at http://www.thecrabbycook.com.
by Maia Harari