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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

The Chocolate Files

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De Boer on the move in the dining room, the main bar and open kitchen in view.

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A chest dedicated entirely to storing chocolate. Decadent? Gratuitous? Consider the following: The best chocolate is a delicate mix of sugar and the fermented, dried, and roasted seeds of the cacao tree. Some people would place such a delicacy in the refrigerator. Nothing could be more incorrect. "Chocolate is very absorbent," explains John Scharffenberger, the Berkeley, California-based maker of fine chocolate. "The same air will be circulating around onions!" The moisture in refrigerators also causes sugar to crystallize and a gray film called sugar bloom to appear.

Now contemplate the current crop of talented artisans, such as New York's Jacques Torres and Chicago's Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, who have embraced new techniques and ingredients (wasabi truffle, anyone?), reinventing what goes into a box of gourmet confections.

Suddenly, the burlwood chocolate vault with temperature and humidity gauges by Richart—a French company that is no slouch at producing its own amazing candies—makes utter and absolute sense.

Vault with 112 pieces of chocolate, $750; 888-742-4278.

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