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Five Cool Places for Valentine Sweets

The juggernaut that is Valentine’s Day is coming. Don’t fight it. Share the love.

by Carrie Havranek

You know deep down that the red cardboard boxes in the drug stores do not contain real chocolate. Here’s where you can buy something delicious for yourself or a loved one or your favorite teacher or daughter or son or neighbor. After all, why can’t we celebrate ALL the people we love?

1. Josh Early Candies, Bethlehem, Allentown. Anyone who has lived here long enough already knows about Josh Early but did you know they’re now selling “ultra” dark chocolate strawberries? The “ultra” part refers to the 72 percent cocoa. For the ultimate sweet-salty satisfaction, nab a box of their bestselling sea salt caramels.

2. The Chocolate Lab, Bethlehem. Thes inventive combinations–inside-out peanut butter cups and giant turtles–keep people coming back for these confections, handmade in small batches. Call it artisinal if you want; I call it delicious.

3. The Carmelcorn Shop, Easton. Yet another institution, and for good reason. I like going there for retro candies you can’t really find elsewhere, but you may enjoy their chocolate-covered strawberries, for which lines form out the door. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. There’s no web site, so get in touch the old-fashioned way: Mon – Fri, 9:30am – 5pm; Sat, 9:30am – 4pm; Sun, closed; 610-253-6461

4. Tallarico’s Chocolates, Bethlehem. This falls into the category of chocolatier, without a doubt. Devotees love the dark chocolate, caramels, and anything with nuts. Whatever you choose, everything is put together with a dash of creativity. Ever had a tea-infused truffle?

5. Premise Maid, Breinigsville. This place, another old standby, is worth a trip for the whimsy factor alone, along with its array of homemade (yep, on the premises) ice creams and cakes and other sweet treats. It’s sort of like the Disneyworld of chocolate.

Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who likes the following kind of chocolate, in small doses: super dark or Green & Black’s vanilla bean white, unless peanut butter is involved, which requires milk chocolate.