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Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 12:33 p.m.

New 2000 Penn chocolatier offers extravagant sweets

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Leah Potter.

The Shops at 2000 Penn doesn’t have the atmosphere I would expect for a fine chocolate shop. But as I explored and tasted the chocolates at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier, I quickly got over the space’s feel and enjoyed the sweet treats.

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier opened in the space late last month.  It is part of a chocolate franchise, which was voted one of the top ten chocolatiers in the world by National Geographic this year, which explains the shop’s high prices and unique flavors.

The shop offers an array of chocolate goods ranging from classic chocolate bars (around $10 each) to surprising combinations like hot chocolate with cardamom ($25.99), and pieces of sugar-coated ginger hand-dipped in dark chocolate.

At first, the store seemed a little stuffy, mostly due to its impeccable organization and lack of customers. Golden-yellow chocolate boxes with subtle stenciled drawings line the walls in perfect order.

The small space is filled with a wide variety of chocolates. The shop’s standout items are the bonbons, which come in flavors like white peach, pistachio, passion fruit and caramel.

SPAGnVOLA’s Crisoire’s Collection ($72.99) includes 24 bonbons in a variety of flavors and is the most shop’s most luxurious chocolate.

I purchased one of their four-piece signature truffle collections ($12.99), which included coconut, passion of the sea, orchid vanilla and cranberry truffles.

The orchid vanilla truffle was fresh and playful with a strong dark chocolate finish. The passion of the sea truffle was dark all the way through with a light touch of salt.

The cranberry truffle was composed entirely of white chocolate, apart from the hints of cranberry in the center and a decorative dried cranberry on top, which earned it my recommendation for a festive chocolate gift.

The coconut truffle was underwhelming compared to its companions. The center of the truffle was simply filled with dark chocolate rather than highlighted with notes of coconut, as I expected. The truffle was topped with slivers of coconut, which were slightly too chewy and in need of toasting.

With fancy packaging and chocolate made with cacao beans imported all the way from the Dominican Republic, it might be hard for the average college student to afford the luxuries of SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier. But students should keep the chocolatier in mind when in need of a special study treat or a gift for a family member.