Monday, June 25, 2012

Boehms Chocolates

Cherry Cordial (left)
Motzartkugel (right)
Boehms Candies

Calling all producers of romantic biopics:  wake up, smell the chocolate, and give the late Julius Boehm the big-screen treatment he so richly deserves!

Born in 1897, Boehm was a Swiss-Austrian who represented Austria in the 1924 Paris Olympics and was a torch-carrier in 1936--the same year he fled the Nazi invasion by skiing over the Alps to Switzerland.  Boehm eventually immigrated to the US and arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1941.  

As if all that weren't epic enough, Boehm was also the grandson of a confectioner, from whom he learned a thing or two about treats.  In 1934 he and a friend opened the Candy Kitchen in Ravenna, a quiet residential neighborhood on the north side of Seattle.  In 1956, Boehm moved his business to Issaquah, where the surrounding Cascade range recalled the mountains of his childhood.  Next to the shop he built a replica 12th century Alpine Chapel, dedicated to the memory of lost mountaineers.  Boehm himself was one of the lucky ones, safely summiting Mt. Rainier for the third time at the age of 80, just three years before his death in 1981.  

The business Boehm built thrives to this day, cranking out an enormous variety of filled and flavored chocolates.  For the cherry cordials, ripe cherries are soaked in brandy for nearly a month, then double-dipped in milk or dark chocolate.  Mozartkugeln are Boehms' signature sweet, a dollop of soft marzipan blanketed in creamy chocolate ganache, encased in a chocolate shell, and dressed in foil imprinted with Mozart's silhouette.   Honoring the centennial of the composer's death, the Mozartkugel was invented in Salzburg in 1890 by one of Julius Boehms' ancestors, and could itself be the subject of a pretty gripping movie; the confection was a fad that has since become a classic--and the subject of lawsuits, industrial innovation, and consumer obsession.  
255 NE Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA

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