Follow me through the exquisite chocolatiers in Prishtina. The few anyway.
I recently came across a wonderful quote by Gina Hayes that feels very applicable to me: “Make a list of important things to do today. At the top of your list, put ‘eat chocolate.’ Now, you’ll get at least one thing done today.” Boy, did I get to cross that off my to do list.
I started my chocolate sampling journey at Leonidas, a tiny shop located near the Ministry of Education. They offer a variety of truffles made by the Belgian brand of chocolates, which serves as its namesake. When I walked into the store, I was overwhelmed by all the chocolate. I couldn’t decide what to get, so I ended up buying a jar full of truffles. The nice lady at the counter assumed I was buying it as a gift. I went along with that, because let’s face it, that’s better than admitting to buying a jar of truffles all for yourself.
The jar showcased three kinds of truffles: white chocolate and vanilla, dark chocolate with rum, and dark chocolate with mint. The tag on the jar said “Made with love” and it certainly felt like it. The truffles were rich with chocolate and they melted in my mouth one after the other, until the jar was empty. I was devastated, but I’d recommend this experience to any chocolate lover.
After the encounter with Leonidas, I took a few days off from chocolate preparing myself to continue this guide at the Chocolate Corner. The shop is owned by the same people who run the Leonidas little retail store, so I was excited to go there and have some more Belgian chocolate. However, the address on their Facebook page was pretty vague, so I set off into my journey determined to find it. It took only three attempts before I finally found it, and I’m ashamed to admit that it was only after I called them on the phone to ask for directions (which is something I should have done in the first place). But at least I got to exercise, slightly, and shed some of the chocolate weight.
Chocolate Corner is located right next to Proper Pizza in a tiny corner, as the name implies. I walked into the shop and I immediately realized that I wanted to live there. There were pretty gift boxes arranged on shelves, about 15 kinds of truffles, and the most amazing part – a chocolate fountain. I settled for dark chocolate truffles with rum and milk chocolate truffles with nuts. The truffles were, as expected, out of this world.I asked for a glass of mulled wine, but they serve it only after 5 p.m. However, they did tell me they could offer a “fruit specialty” instead. I expected this specialty to be a drink, alas no, it was yet another confection. This came in the shape of banana and orange slices topped with a very rich whipped cream, cookie crumbs and melted chocolate. When it was brought to my table, a guy sitting at the next table asked what that was and if he could have one too. It was a good decision, stranger, because the fruit specialty was indeed amazing.
The rest of my chocolate self-discovery continued over the weekend, when I decided to include Matisse on my agenda. Matisse is a café serving both cake and food, and is located in one of the edges of the Zahir Pajaziti Square, next to the eponymous statue. I sat outside in one of the checkered tablecloth covered tables, and for a moment felt like I was in France, were it not for the view, a paysage including the not-so-grand Grand Hotel. I ordered an espresso and a chocolate soufflé because it seemed fitting for a Saturday morning (alright, it was 1 p.m.). The soufflé itself was very rich, with chocolate oozing out of the sponge cake. The dish was accompanied by vanilla ice cream, which wasn’t that astonishing. One definitely needs to invest in making better ice cream in Kosovo.
Since I’m insane and since the next chocolate place is located on the same square, I decided to continue to Bake and Cake right after leaving Matisse. Bake and Cake is a small café in which every item and every detail is Instagram-worthy. The macaroons and other cakes looked pretty good, but since this guide was going to be explicitly about chocolate, I chose a chocolate delicacy that was covered in chocolate sprinkles. Soon after I had my first bite, I realized that all that glitters isn’t gold. The cake was tasteless and hard. I finished half of it and left. Perhaps the other sweets might be great, but that specific cake was disappointing.
Embelso is a delivery-only chocolate shop. They make truffles and baklavas with a twist. Currently they have five kinds of truffles: raffaello (white chocolate, nuts and coconut), chocolate and orange, vanilla and orange, brownie and pumpkin (because hey, it’s fall). During a Coffee and Tea Festival held in Prishtina I tried out their brownie and pumpkin truffles, and they were delectable. Every bite was divine. According to Embelso they are going to try out new flavors such as carrot, gingerbread and baklava with sour cherries and walnuts in the upcoming months.
01 December 2015 - 14:20