Banyan or Bust

Hunting & Gathering


This local chocolatier stays on the nice list for crafting vibrant candies from the cacao christmas tree. Instead of giving your naughty loved one a customary bag of coal, why not embrace being a little bad with a sinfully sweet box of chocolates? Known for her locally renowned Sarasota Seafoam and “bean to bar” specially wrapped chocolate bars from small-batch plantations in the Cocoa Belt, owner Morag Reid of cozy chocolate-centric cafe Banyan Tree channels her European baking skills, hailing from Scotland, by molding her creativity with artisanal ganaches.

Creative ingenuity reigns supreme with her visually stunning and deliciously decadent truffles—using only the finest fair trade-certified chocolate suppliers, as well as all-natural ingredients (locally-sourced whenever possible) including spices, pure juices/extracts and organic nuts—to create single-origin saccharine delights. "Each batch takes me two to three days to make," explains Reid. "The real colorful ones are hand-painted using colored cocoa butter, then the shells are poured and filled with the various ganache blends, and left to 'crystallize' overnight." 

Reid continually releases new gourmet flavors, such as long-time bestseller "Be Still My Heart," a rose and lychee dark chocolate ganache topped with a raspberry pate de fruit (soft jelly). More floral/fruity flavors include a pomegranate-hibiscus bonbon and blueberry-violet bonbon, while the PB&J layers textures with an organic peanut butter ganache and a strawberry jelly topped with crunchy peanuts.

Give the ultimate gift with a seasonal collection of artisan flavors and festive molds. Can be purchased in a number of assortments boxed up with a pretty red bow for that special someone with a sweet tooth. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Banyan Tree Chocolate & Cafe, @banyantreechocs, 5170 Palmer Plaza Blvd., Sarasota, 941-923-2462.

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