Oh, the powers of chocolate. The mere mention of that wonderful confection invokes a smile on my face, so when I discovered the removal of the tarps and fencing around The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe during my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I gasped in excitement. I quickly joined the others lined up outside the quaint store to experience the latest addition to Disney Springs.
While waiting for the tantalizing treats inside, one of the cast members brought out a small cup of their decadent 65 percent dark chocolate ganache for us to taste and to further peak our interest for this shop’s grand opening. She also provided a brief description of the chocolate consisting of a blend of cocoa from the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Brazil, as well as described several of the hand-crafted wonders that resided just beyond those double doors
After my friendly conversation with another cast member maintaining crowd control at the door, it was finally my turn to enter the chocolate shop’s threshold. I immediately noticed the window to my left, which provided a view of the skilled chocolatiers at work. Just look at that melted chocolate ready to coat the next batch of cream-filled squares!
The Ganachery serves sixteen distinct made-in-house chocolates, nine varieties of custom made chocolate bars to celebrate Disney’s iconic destinations and the “Fab Five” (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck), as well as a few other cocoa-induced delights all ranging in price.
These amazingly, unique confections were conceived by Disney Pastry Chef Stefan Riemer. With his expertise and ingenuity, along with his time abroad to obtain the world’s best chocolate, Chef Stefan provides a new experience for all chocolate lovers.
And what an experience! As I made my way further into the store, one of the fourteen cast members specially trained to provide a personalized venture for each customer gave me a grand tour of the boutique shop. The décor of golds, coppers, and browns set the tone for the store with a copper pot chandelier, a copper-tiled ceiling, and signs on the walls that read There’s Nothing Chocolate Can’t Fix and Chocolate is Good Medicine. My tour guide then presented the display of the aforementioned chocolate bars, such as the Minnie Mouse bar consisting of milk chocolate with dried strawberries and the Aulani bar containing white chocolate with pineapple and coconut. The back shelves showcased these generously-sized chocolate bars, along with Crispy Chocolate Pearls and the Chocolate Enrobed Stollen—which involves a thin layer of dark chocolate filled with a light cake-like substance, marzipan, bits of orange peel, lemon zest, and a hint of Grand Marnier. Talk about incredible.
With a chocolate stollen in hand, I made my way over to one of the two ganache cases, where Cast Member Akira assisted me in my selection. I gazed adoringly at the beautifully crafted chocolate pieces that lined the trays before me.
“Would you care to sample something?” Akira inquired.
“Oh, yes, please!”
Akira graciously handed me a small taste of the pistachio and orange fillings used in two of their chocolate pieces. The creamy, green pistachio substance brought me back to my time in Rome, enjoying some pistachio gelato, and the Floridian orange filling had a wonderful sweet, tangy taste that reminded me of biting into a sweet and juicy ripe orange right off the tree (minus the mess).
Coming back to my senses and returning to stare at all the lovely decorated chocolate pieces through the glass, I opted for a box with six chocolate pieces—Orange: Fresh Florida Oranges with Dark Chocolate; Pistachio: Sicilian Pistachios with Dark Chocolate; Vanilla: Madagascan Vanilla Bean with Dark Chocolate; Mango-Curry: Indian Curry and Mangos with Dark Chocolate; Matcha-Yuzu: Japanese Green Tea and Yuzu with Dark Chocolate; and Chipotle Pepper: Dark Chocolate with a hint of Mexican Red Pepper. What can I say, I love dark chocolate.
With my decision made, Akira carefully placed my confectionary prize, all wrapped in tissue paper, inside an elegant, tan box, sealed with a tight-fitting cardboard sleeve. Even the box is a work of art, because for Chef Stefan, this quality of chocolate must be appreciated like a fine wine.
“It has nothing to do with ‘candy,’” he explains. “Textures, tastes, colors – this is about relaxing and enjoying a bite-size indulgence.”
After my experience at The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe and having enjoyed all my purchased treats, I can agree with Chef Stefan’s statement. Those chocolate squares and that chocolate stollen upheld to standards above and beyond any normal store-bought chocolate bar. I only hope that this little chocolate shop makes its way out to the Disneyland Resort to provide the same unique experience and enjoyment I received at its East Coast counterpart. The Ganachery captured my heart and captivated my taste buds, and I look forward to a return trip to Orlando to savor more of its decadent offers.
“May these little pieces of chocolate inspire big ideas, lasting friendships and a life time of laughter.” –The Ganachery
Our thanks to Stephenie Pashkowsky for her gorgeous photos!
Have you visited The Ganachery at Disney Springs?