Memorable | One of the Best
Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
Butter, sugar, almonds, milk chocolate, salt. Can’t get much simpler than the ingredient list for Enstrom’s milk chocolate almond toffee. Those are the same ingredients that went into the batches of toffee that Chet Enstrom made decades ago for those lucky enough to be on his gift list. In 1960, he and his wife started a business around that toffee recipe in Grand Junction, Colorado. Today, the business is run by Chet’s daughter and grandchildren, and the toffee has become a legend.
As far as we’re concerned, there are two great American candies (three, if you count Garrett’s CaramelCrisp as candy). The other is Bissinger’s seasonal chocolate-covered fresh berries. Enstrom’s toffee is every bit as good in its own way. Open a box to find cracked sheets coated with ground almonds, some pieces bite-size, some in need of further snapping to create mouth-manageable chunks. Pop a piece into your mouth and bite down. The initial hard crunch quickly gives way to a wave of buttery flavor as the candy shatters into bits and dissolves. The butter blends with the taste of crunchy whole toasted almonds and chocolate to create a sweet and slightly salty delicacy that is impossible to stop eating.
While Enstrom’s is based in Grand Junction, and they have a roaring mail-order business (which we’ve utilized many times), there’s also an Enstrom shop in the Cherry Creek neighborhhod of Denver, where you can buy not only the amazing toffee but also chocolates of all kinds. There is an ice cream bar and an espresso bar too, neither of which we’ve tried, and they’ve even installed a row of computers near the front of the shop for net-surfing with your pound of toffee and double espresso at your side.
Two other notes: the young help that staffs this store can have lousy attitudes, unfortunately. We find that is more than compensated for by the fact that, on the counter, there is always a tray of broken-up chunks of almond toffee to distract you from the unhelpful help.
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