Page 23 - WCM 2019 Winter
P. 23

 Kelsey Goldsmith
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of handmade, hand-dipped delicacies grace the display cases at Bavarian Chocolate Haus, where you can customize a selection of white, dark, and/or milk chocolates and pay by the pound.
Bavarian Sweets in Bridgton
Home to handcrafted white, milk, and dark chocolate snuggled around moist dried fruit, perfectly subtle mint filling, and expertly roasted cashews, the Bavar- ian Chocolate Haus is, at once, a popular destination, and a worthy pit stop. In line behind two motorcycle buddies who were stocking up on goodies for their respective wives and kids, we had plenty of time to drool over the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of de- lights available.
There are a number of premade gift baskets, a really generous selection of kid-themed confections and trinkets, including some in the non-edible category. There’s also local maple treats, craft brews, truffles, fudge, and even an adorable cuckoo clock (not for sale) seemingly plucked out of Germany’s Black For- est. But the real attraction is, of course, the chocolates, made by hand, primarily at their kitchen in North Conway, NH (just 20 or so minutes away). I was sur- prised by how “everyday” the whole experience seemed to me, and also by how much that didn’t bother me.
We decided to get a whole box, sold by the pound, and stuffed it full of peppermint patties, chocolate- drenched rice crispy treats, dipped dried pineapple rings, an apricot straw, and chocolate covered al- monds, which were recommended by the clerk (they’re her fave, she said).
And what did we discover? Perhaps our favorite destination of all! The girls were giving their version of tasting notes in no time, and really enjoyed the buttery flavor of the milk chocolate, which they were
delighted to smoosh all across their faces. They were not a big fan of the nuts (that’s okay, more for the adults, and we certainly gobbled them right up!), but “really loved so much” the fruit selections.
As soon as the box was empty, with a bellyache and slightly parched, they both asked when we’d be going back. “Perhaps we can stop on our way to Grandma and Grampa’s next time,” I replied, knowing full well that we might devour that box, too, before we were able to actually present it to my in-laws.
PRO TIP: Indoor seating is not available, and in cold weather no outside seating to sit and snack, so in win- ter, plan to munch in the car or bring back to your place (and perhaps grab a nice bottle of red to accompany!).
The kids would nag, in classic fashion: “Are we there yet?”
“No,” I’d say distractedly, “but look at that gorgeous mountain, what do you think is on the other side of that?”
Tromping through Western Maine is good for every- one’s soul. Especially mine. Because on the other side of that mountain was an art gallery and an overflow- ing plate of nachos, a solo horseback ride that helped me find balance, and a giant box of ooey, gooey German-inspired chocolate. Yum, yum.
Strapping the kids in their carseats for adventures across expansive Western Maine probably wouldn’t have been their first choice of a good time. But, with a willing copilot in my husband, it was actually pretty easy, and I think they’d do it again. I know I would. ❧ 23

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