Brigham City Handmade Chocolates

Idle Isle Fine Candies, Brigham City, Utah, image

After the centers are cooled, the candies are hand-dipped. | Courtesy Idle Isle Fine Candies

Road Journals Blog—If you want to be a kid in a candy shop, Idle Isle Fine Candies is a must. A sweet find tucked in between a driving school and an LDS bookstore on Brigham City’s Main Street, Idle Isle is a little oasis of milk and dark chocolate—and all the shades in between.

Rows of hand-dipped chocolates, perfect mouthfuls, line the displays along with old-fashioned peanut brittle and a rainbow of rock candy. As I contemplated my choices, I already knew I would be getting a box of their renowned “nut balls”—large, gumball size chocolates containing soft almond cream centers. (Hundreds of boxes of these get shipped throughout the country every December, which is when I visited.)

A young woman answered my questions—“What’s in this? How about that? Mmm . . . what are these?”—but my notice fell upon another young woman behind the counter, sitting, legs crossed, casually dusting chocolates. With a dry cloth, she gently rubbed each piece to a shine. Rows of chocolate sat next to her awaiting their turn, like so many pairs of scuffed shoes.

For split second I questioned reality. Were these chocolates real, or from the same genre as my grandmother’s plastic fruit bowl? The woman explained that dusting the chocolate prevents it from turning white. It had to be about aesthetics, because the chocolate I’d been sampling could have been stomped flat and would have still tasted divine.

The fillings for these prized nuggets are simmered and stirred in large copper pots downstairs. The chocolate is prepared in melters.

The equipment all harks back to the candy shop’s early days in the 1920s. I find out that up to 110 lbs of candy is hand-dipped here daily. I wonder how many people have been fired from this job for licking their fingers.

It’s a job that only Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Oompa-Loompas could be trusted with. I wouldn’t last the afternoon before being tossed out, résumé in hand, incriminating chocolate on my lips.

This blog post was first published in February 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.