The Hudson Valley Mountain Range bar by Hudson Chocolates in Poughkeepsie looks like something from a haute couture fashion show—striking, angular, and a bit mystifying. With its asymmetric bright moss cubes jutting out of a soft, pebbled base, the piece is an attention grabber. "If someone puts this in the middle of the table, you're not going to not acknowledge it," says chocolatier Francisco Migoya. "It's not going to be like, 'Yes, so as I was telling you...' It's going to be like, 'All right, let's have some chocolate!'"
Francisco Migoya and Kristina Peterson Migoya's products reclaim chocolate's place as a staple of a special occasion—these aren't chocolates that you mindlessly eat to satisfy a craving. They are chocolates that you must engage with and share. "I want people to think of them as centerpieces," says Francisco. "Instead of bringing out a cake, we bring out a beautiful chocolate bar."
The Migoyas, who opened Hudson Chocolates in 2010, get inspiration from the Hudson Valley, where they moved after Francisco was offered a job running the Apple Pie Bakery Café at the Culinary Institute of America (which he ran for seven years). "Fall in the Hudson Valley is spectacular," says Francisco. "You start to cook food for longer—there are smells of baking apples, cinnamon, pecans. Eating our Hudson Valley Terroir Bar is like eating a place and moment in time that's very special."
Hudson Chocolates offers over 20 specialty products, ranging from traditional flavor pairings—like candied California almonds coated in dark chocolate and cinnamon—to more experimental options, like white chocolate-covered Niçoise olives. The wide variety of flavor and texture combinations is not meant to shock people, Francisco notes. Rather, it's meant to facilitate a memorable experience with chocolate—what Migoya refers to as a bliss moment.
Hudson Chocolates is open to the public every Saturday from 1 to 6pm, or by appointment. All products are also available online. Hudsonchocolates.com
Photographs of the artisanal, avant-garde chocolates by Francisco Migoya.