Posts Tagged ‘Dean’s Sweets’

Dean’s at it again

August 29, 2009

Lucky me, I got to taste one of DeansSweets dark chocolate salt caramels (also available without salt, but really, why?). Oh my, they’re good! He’s still tinkering with the recipe, and not selling them yet, but you might be able to nibble a sample. Better yet, encourage him to hurry up and make them available to all.

Sweet news for Dean’s Chocolates fans

November 17, 2008

I heard the buzz on Portland Psst, then on Portland Food Map: Truffle-maker extraordinaire Dean Bingham, the master behind Dean’s Sweets, is taking his biz out of his home and into a shop in Portland’s emerging foodie neighborhood. Now Dean’s was one of the chocolatiers I raved about when I defined the Maine Coast Chocolate Trail. I am beyond thrilled that his decadent, adult-oriented, dark chocolate creations will be available regularly in a retail shop.

I fired off a quick note to Dean, who I met at a food festival in Rockport, and requested the details. Plans are to open this Saturday, Nov. 22. The shop is located at 82 Middle St., between Rabelais (the foodie book emporium) and Pepperclub (which doubles as The Good Egg in the morning; perhaps go for brunch before the opening?).

To celebrate the opening, Rabelais is offering 15% off its entire stock (Hello, Santa!). Says Dean: “We’re hoping for a few friends to show up for a ‘soft opening’. They’re hoping for a mob. Maybe something in between…” He cautions that the shop isn’t anywhere near completed, but will be operational.

So now, Market Street, between Franklin and India, is home to: Hugo’s, Pepperclub, Duckfat, Rabelais, Ribolitta, Norm’s East End BBQ, and Dean’s. Add in India Street, and the choices expand: Miccuci’s, Two Fat Cats Bakery, Coffee By Design,  Amato’s, and, well you get the idea.

Chocoholic’s choice

September 13, 2008

Just back from nibbling my way through the first Mid-Coast Maine Wine and Cheese Festival, held at two Rockport locations, Cellardoor Winery’s retail shop and the State of Maine Cheese Co. Plenty of food fun, including tastings of cheeses, wines, chocolates, jams, sausages, smoked seafood products, and more.

I dutifully toured my way through all the vendors, but my faves (no surprise, here), were chocolate related. I’m a huge fan of Safe Harbor Confections, a Waldoboro chocolatier that dedicates a percentage of income, donated in product or cash, to animal-related causes. I love their salt caramels, and the raspberry truffles. And… mmmmm.

For truffle perfection, Dean’s Sweets wins for its stout truffle. Oh my! The bitterness of the stout (beer) brings out the bitterness of the chocolate, without being, well bitter. No sharp edge, just that sublime taste of dark chocolate with depth. Now, the tequila lime, the needhams (made with Cold River Vodka instead of mashed potates), the scotch, the cayene, and the ginger, and… well, let’s just say I spent a bit of time here immersed in quality control. Portland-based Dean’s only uses dark chocolate, and it doesn’t use nuts. The truffles are available at Rosemont Market, in Portland and Yarmouth, from the house by appointment, or via the internet.

Now I previously knew about Safe Harbor and Dean’s, but South Portland-based Nutmeg Foods new Coastline Chocolates were new to me, but one taste (then another, and, okay, another) of the Rivermill salted dark chocolate bar, and I’m a convert. I’ve always been a fan of the marriage of dark chocolate and salt, but usually it comes via chocolate-covered popcorn or potato chips. This is simply a bar accented with Maine sea salt. Not that the other bars I tasted weren’t delicious, but this one was a standout. Nutmeg Foods also makes a line of truffles, including one, Ned’s Red, sold only at the Cellardoor Winery.

Quite the delicious afternoon. Now, must exercise.