The first time I came across the Ganachery, a chocolate shop at Disney Springs, I was on my way to another venue at the endlessly-under-construction former Downtown Disney. The shop had just opened to the public and there was a startlingly long line of people waiting to get in. They weren’t passing time until someone unlocked the doors, they were simply waiting their turn for a chance to go inside and buy candy.
Very, very good candies to be sure. We’re not talking about Goo Goo Clusters or jelly beans, we’re talking about a very limited and exquisitely styled type of candy: ganache squares.
Ganache is the result of blending chocolate with cream, and in the case of the pieces sold at the Ganachery, we’re talking high quality chocolate. Under the direction of Disney chocolatier Amanda E. Lauder, the pastry crew on site makes a limited selection of 16 variations ranging from the not-so-vanilla Vanilla (it’s dark chocolate with Madagascar vanilla beans in the blend) to one called Matcha Yuza that is infused with Japanese green tea.
Each one- or two-bite-sized morsel measures little more an an inch square, and each one costs $3. For $15 you may select 6 ganaches, which brings the per-piece price down to $2.50. So, bargain. No wonder so many people were lined up waiting for their chance to plunk down money.
Actually, one of the reasons there was a line outside is that the place is super tiny. Fire regulations probably don’t permit more than a handful of customers inside at one time — fewer if they’re hardcore candy lovers, if you know what I mean.
And because it is against company policy to open a business at Disney Springs without assigning it a cockamamie story, the Ganachery is supposed to occupy a former apothecary. Since chocolate is the drug of choice for so many people, this backstory makes more sense than most.
The chocolates are displayed under glass in a countertop as if they were precious jewels. It is a beautiful and enticing display, and I doubt that many people go in and buy just one or two pieces. They’re probably more like me and go for the six-pack.
I visited in the middle of a weekday afternoon when there was no one guarding the door and metering the traffic. There were several of us waiting our turn for the one person behind the counter who apparently had authorization to box the selections.
And what a box! The ganaches were placed on dark chocolate colored tissue paper that was sealed with a large round blue sticker emblazoned with a G then placed inside a heavy cardboard box with a folding lid. The lid had a hidden magnet that magically made the flap snap shut. This box was then put inside a handled bag that was big enough to hold a few dozen boxes. It was finished with a swoosh of bright blue tissue paper that ploofed out the top. No, I didn’t feel the least bit silly walking back to my car in the parking garage with this package.
It should be mentioned that the chocolates were indeed quite fine. I especially liked the Egyptian Sea Salt and the Caramel Fleur de Sel (I like that bit of saltiness with my chocolate). The Chipotle Pepper might have had more of the promised Mexican Red Pepper, but there was no mistaken which one was the Pistachio.
Actually, you don’t have to guess which is which. Each variety has a distinct style element and may be identified on a supplied Flavor Reference Card, with pictures, that is also included in the packaging.
And I want to mention that the cast member who was doing the packaging was enthusiastic and helpful. Patient, too, given that he was asked the same questions over and over. But he clearly liked chatting about the chocolates with his guests.
The Ganachery is at Disney Springs. It is open daily.