Located at 732 North Trade Street in downtown Winston-Salem, Black Mountain Chocolate offers chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, gelato, baked goods, and more. The chocolate is made on-site, and factory tours are available.
When it comes to food, “artisanal” typically conjures one of two images: the impeccable efforts of a skilled craftsman or overpriced pretension peddled to status-seeking rubes. Thankfully, Black Mountain represents the former tradition.
First and foremost, the chocolate here is outstanding (and this comes from someone who typically prefers milk or white chocolate to dark). Stop in, and you’ll get to sample different varieties (sea salt, cocoa nib, espresso, etc.), each with its own complex flavor. This diversity extends to liquid form as well: the drinking chocolate comes in three strains. I opted for ginger-nutmeg with a marshmallow and was not disappointed: the chocolate was rich and smooth, and the ginger notes added a welcome kick.
This excellence isn’t limited to just chocolate, either. The baked goods are spot-on as well. A banana cream macaroon had real banana flavor (as opposed to the overly sweet synthetic cousin), and a moonshine macaroon won high praise from my companion. The available offerings may rotate, but you’re bound to find something that catches your eye among the macaroons, pies, cookies, and pastries on any given day.
It also helps that everyone at Black Mountain is exceptionally friendly. They will answer questions, offer recommendations, and put up with your slack-jawed gawking at all the delicious desserts. They even held a chocolate bar that I had purchased but left behind during a previous visit.
At $5 a bar, Black Mountain’s chocolate will seem exorbitant compared to store-bought Hershey’s, but such is the difference between a bespoke suit and one grabbed off the rack at Wal-Mart. Besides, the rest of the goods – drinks, pastries, etc. – are far more in line with the competition, and those products that aren’t made in-house come from local businesses.
Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, as long as you can appreciate something tasty done right, Black Mountain Chocolate is worth your time.