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Edible Works of Art

Submitted by on August 7, 2012 – 8:08 amNo Comment

By Susan McKee
The Road Trips Foodie

As any Road Trips Foodie already knows, you don’t need hand-made, artisanal chocolates if all you want is a quick choco fix.

The really good stuff is as much a work of art as a taste treat. Take, for example, the luscious offerings of Tre Sorelle Cioccolato, 634 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio (map).

Each handcrafted candy is an edible masterpiece. From the crispy treats exploding with red-white-and-blue sprinkles to the delicate orange flowers topping a morsel of milk chocolate, the goodies are as much eye candy as tasty bites.

Tre Sorelle — three sisters in Italian — was started by a pair of sisters in Sandusky seven years ago. “My sister Jan Beck and I thought that Tre Sorelle sounded better than Due Sorelle (given the English meaning of the Italian word for ‘two’) and our third sister isn’t involved in the business,” Judi Horchler explains.

Their father was of German descent, but their mother’s Italian. “We thought Italian candies sounded tastier than German ones,” Judi laughs. Besides, they learned how to cook from their mother, Theresa Cimicata Beck.

Both women had careers in other fields: Jan has an MBA and worked for both American Greetings and Moen. Judi, with a doctorate, spent 35 years as an educator.

They started their chocolate business just by chance. After they made candies for favors at a wedding, their friends asked for more. The first sales were by catalog — they used a friend’s café kitchen at first (yes, you need a health department approved kitchen if you’re selling prepared food in Ohio).

The next step? Certification from Ecole Chocolat in San Francisco, California.

“We make everything from scratch,” Judi reports, “except the sugar-free caramel. Our specialty? Wine-infused chocolates using the wines of Ohio producer Firelands.”

Tre Sorelle specializes in ganache-filled candies and truffles. they use a Belgian blend of chocolates by Barry Callibaut, with covertures from E Guittard.

Tre Sorelle moved into its current quarters — a former flower shop — five years ago. “We were lucky,” Judi notes. “Both flowers and chocolate need to be kept at the same temperature — about 58-60°, so we could use the same coolers.” (Of course, they had to add a food-grade filtration system, not to mention other remodeling.)

In addition to the retail shop, catalog sales and special orders (they still do weddings, of course), Tre Sorelle teaches candy-making classes (and holds birthday parties) for both children and adults. Need a break? They serve coffee, tea and cocoa (of course) in their shop, too.

It’s rumored that Tre Sorelle will be tapped as the “best chocolate” in the October 2012 issue of Cleveland Monthly — but we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, don’t miss their raspberry champagne marshmallows, either plain or chocolate dipped.

(Photos ©2012 by Susan McKee)

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