Nestled inside a nearly 100-year-old cottage, Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 504-269-5707; www.bluefrogchocolates.com) brims with sweet treats. Shiny packages of chocolates and candies cover the tables and a glass display case reveals an assortment of gourmet truffles.
"We do have things that are fun, different and unique," says co-owner Ann Streiffer.
The New Orleans section of the store showcases chocolate-covered Zapp's Spicy Cajun Crawtator potato chips, edible Mardi Gras masks and Aunt Kate's Old Fashioned Pecan Pralines, among other items.
There also are rich truffles dusted in cocoa powder, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, crunchy almond bark, milk chocolate-covered gummy bears, nonpareils coated in colorful sprinkles, mini peanut butter cups and the namesake chocolate frogs. Candy items include Jelly Belly jelly beans, Necco Wafers and Mary Janes and BB Bats taffy.
"They're things you don't get to see anymore," Streiffer says. A New Orleans native, she opened Blue Frog Chocolates 16 years ago with her husband Rick. Although both worked in medicine, they always wanted to run a business.
"We thought this was something that could work, because there was nothing like this in the city at the time," she says.
Streiffer currently is stocking the store with chocolate eggs, bunnies, chocolate-dipped Peeps and chocolate locusts with a marshmallow filling, which represent the Biblical plagues. Italian candy flowers are available year-round, but they are especially appropriate during spring. The dulcet blooms are made in Sulmona, Italy, a town east of Rome. Each petal is wrapped in colorful cellophane and consists of dark European chocolate in a crunchy candy coating. Some pieces contain an almond or a morsel of licorice.
The shop bustles during wedding season. Blue Frog Chocolates bonbons, bride-and-groom chocolate pops, party trays and wedding favors wrapped in pretty ribbons are popular items.
Streiffer says it's hard for her to pick one favorite product.
"It depends on the day, because I like milk, white and dark chocolate," she says, adding peanut butter cups and toffee to the list. "I haven't met a chocolate that I don't like."