The Truffle Shop, in Nevada City, is the perfect stop for your sweetheart—any day of the year.
Tucked away in Nevada City’s historic New York Hotel among a menagerie of boutiques is The Truffle Shop. Locals boast that it’s home to the best chocolate they’ve ever had and a steady stream of visitors will attest to the same.
The intricately designed sweets are created by chef Willem DeGroot. His culinary career began in the kitchens of the monasteries he lived in during his brief time as a monk. Today he and a small team of confectioners produce pristine truffles that have found their way to such luminary locations as the White House and the Vatican.
Those lucky enough to discover the intimate Nevada City emporium on Broad Street will find an eclectic setting, which feels equally upscale and quaint, with a touch of whimsy. The chef’s mascot and muse, Willemina the winged pig, can be seen in her many beloved styles and mediums. Most were gifts from devoted friends and fans.
But the real attraction of the shop is the sophisticated selection of truffles. When DeGroot and business partner Rudy Udarbe opened the store nearly 30 years ago, they decided to create chocolates that would appeal more to an adult palate.
Udarbe notes that many of the chocolates they sampled were simply too sweet. They settled on Belgian chocolate, which they do not add sugar to, then infuse the ganache with actual liqueurs instead of flavorings. Over the years, the pair have settled on 22 consistent flavors, ranging from the essentials (peanut butter, caramel, and raspberry) to signature favorites like the Imperial Dragon (with crystallized ginger and white chocolate) and the Key Largo (with zesty lime, white chocolate and tequila).
Udarbe notes that his favorite is the Cafe Diablo, which blends strong coffee and bittersweet chocolate with the slow burn of cayenne. “There’s a little bit of heat to it; wakes up those taste buds,” he says. “Which is a nice sensation, especially when it’s cold outside.”
The Truffle Shop
408 Broad St.,
Nevada City, CA