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Casa de Chocolates' 2 LB Chocolate Virgin Mary Approaches

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What we know right now: chocolatier Arcelia Gallard, Cal graduate, and former staffer at Pasadena's Le Cordon Bleu will soon turn her Casa de Chocolates line of sweets into a real-life, brick and mortar sweet shop. The plan is to open around the middle of October near the posh border of Oakland's Rockridge and Berkeley's Elmwood.

Don't expect chocolate bunnies. Gallard worked with award-winning chocolate showman Ewald Notter and artisanal master Andrew Shotts of Garrison Confections. Her goal is to take patrons on a "chocolate journey" to pre-Colombian culture—minus the war and pestilence—with things like Mestizo cheesecake and pumpkin flan. Also on offer: Don Julio Añejo tequila ganache-filled dark chocolate butterflies and two pounds of chocolate in the likeness of the Virgin Mary. The two pound chocolate likeness of Pope Benedict XVI's hat is still in the works. [EaterWire]

Casa de Chocolates

2629 Ashby Ave. Berkeley, CA

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