On Magazine Street near the Audubon Zoo sits a quaint, renovated shotgun house that is home to all things chocolate. Blue Frog Chocolates, founded in 2000 by Ann Streiffer, is where you’ll find artisanal chocolates made in house for any occasion, plus hard-to-find specialty chocolates and retro candies imported from around the world. Streiffer wanted a business she could retire with, and thought making chocolates would be fun. Sixteen years later, it still is a lot of fun and fills a niche that she thought was needed in New Orleans.
When you enter Blue Frog Chocolates, the first thing you’ll notice is the sweet aroma, just a hint of what’s in store inside this temple to cacao.
Named after the Aztec god of delights, Xocolati, who disguised himself as a blue frog and would appear to people as the frog while singing songs about chocolate, Blue Frog is the perfect spot for the chocolate lover, with chocolates sold by the piece or in gift boxes and shipping available anywhere in the United States.
In house, they make all the molded chocolates into various forms (crawfish, alligators, paddle wheelers, frogs, ballerinas, dinosaurs, globes, airplanes) and for all occasions (graduations, weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthdays — you name it). They also make a wide assortment of truffles and have display cases full of them for sale by the piece or in attractive gift sets.
As I chat with Streiffer, I have to keep telling myself I will not have the chocolate covered Zapps potato chips. I will not have the chocolate covered Zapps potato chips. I will not….Those things are addictive, and you gotta have ’em while you’re there.
Another unique Blue Frog offering is its made-to-order sweet beverages, including an Icy Hot Chocolate, “a conundrum,” Streiffer says, “as it’s both icy cold and hot at the same time.” Streiffer doesn’t have to sell me on the Decadent Dark, a frosty, frozen concoction that was her first foray into beverages years ago. I’ve had more than a couple of them while out strolling down Magazine Street. Another popular flavor she makes is a Zesty Mayan frozen chocolate beverage, which is also really good: a little spicy, a little rich.
She whips up a frozen concoction that is reminiscent of retro New Orleans soda shops or the NOLA-based K&B Drug Store chain (now defunct) and still popular to this day: a frozen Nectar Cream beverage. Nectar Sodas are really a New Orleans thing, tasting sweet and vanilla-y, pretty in pastel pink. It’s like drinking a pink, fluffy cloud. (Note: In addition to Blue Frog, you can also find Nectar Cream at any snowball stand in the city or as an ice cream float at Creole Creamery)
Seasonally, Streiffer offers a Passover display, which includes several Kosher chocolates she brings in for the season: Matzoh crunch and chocolate frogs and locusts, which reference the Biblical Plagues of Egypt. Blue Frog makes a life-size Seder Plate for Passover, too.
I’m drawn to the retro candies like Necco Wafers and Bit O’ Honey, which as a kid I always pined for near the checkout at the convenience or hardware stores (oddly enough, both on Magazine Street.)
Also at Blue Frog are beautiful candied flowers imported from Italy, Jelly Belly jellybeans, color-sorted M&Ms, and adult-themed chocolates for a bachelor or bachelorette party.
Everywhere you look, there’s something to see (and eat) in Blue Frog Chocolates. Definitely stop in next time you find yourself on Magazine Street — bring your appetite.
Photos by Paul Broussard