David Ramirez is a perfectionist. Anyone who has seen his elaborate chocolate sculptures (there’s one below) or the jewel-like candies he crafts at David Ramirez Chocolates will know that. Each one is a delicious work of art from a meticulous master chef.
So it won’t be a surprise that occasionally something will happen in the production of the chocolates that raises his creatively demanding hackles. Call them chocolates, chipped; or faulty friandises; or bruised bonbons. Whatever, if they don’t meet Ramirez’s standards, they can’t be sold alongside the flawless confections.
But the flavor is the same, each one made with the same imported European fair-trade chocolate, Madagascar vanilla beans and top-shelf liqueurs. Close your eyes and you wouldn’t even know you were eating one of the nicked nuggets.
Actually, you could open your eyes and probably not see anything wrong with it. I visited the chocolate factory recently and had a hard time detecting defects in the chocolates that Ramirez had set aside as imperfect.
So just as Ramirez is a perfectionist he’s also not wasteful. So he and his team are boxing them and selling them as a “Dirty Dozen” at a deep discount – $15, as opposed to the regular price of $28 per dozen.
Ramirez, a former captain of Team USA at the internationally acclaimed Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, aka the World Pastry Cup, in Lyon, France, says the idea has caught on among many of his regular customers, and people are calling ahead to have boxes set aside for pickup.
By the way, the Dirty Dozen, which I shouldn’t have to explain are perfectly clean, are available only at the David Ramirez Chocolates headquarters and factory at 2154 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando (map). There is a retail counter inside the front door available to the public during regular hours. You may be familiar with the retail outlet inside Plant Street Market in Winter Garden. That location only has the flawless chocolates.
And if you haven’t seen the factory, you should stop by – it’s quite an operation. And you can have the chance of seeing a perfectionist at work.
David Ramirez Chocolates is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is 407-816-7400.