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Minnesota-made truffles, sold at Golden Fig in St. Paul.

, Star Tribune

Create your own chocolate sampler

  • February 8, 2012 - 2:51 PM

For this Valentine's Day, skip the heart-shaped Whitman Sampler and buy local. Specifically, the distinctive, handcrafted truffles sold at the Golden Fig (790 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-602-0144, www.goldenfig.com). Owner Laurie McCann Crowell stocks a small but eye-catching (and romance-boosting) inventory that's culled from a Who's Who of Minnesota makers, including B.T. McElrath, Chocolat Céleste, Mademoiselle Miel, Painted Turtle Chocolatier and St. Croix Chocolate Co. The mix-and-match assortment ($2.25 to $2.75) is easily tailored to suit your beloved's tastes and carefully boxed. Don't leave without grabbing a handful of the Tootsie Roll-shaped caramels ($1) -- particularly the ones twinkling with sea salt -- that St. Paulite Joyce Clark produces, using a melt-in-your-mouth family recipe, under the Mema's Caramels label. Hurry in, because the store is Clark's sole retail outlet, "and it keeps me very, very busy," she said.

RICK NELSON

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