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Visitors to Peterson’s Gallery and Chocolatier can view artwork while enjoying a cup of drinking chocolate.

After she graduated from high school, Alyssa Peterson lived in Germany for a time and fell in love with handcrafted confections and European drinking chocolate. So when the Baker City native was making plans to open an art gallery with her in-laws, her affection for chocolate rose to the top. “I had this passion in the back of my mind for chocolate, and when we were creating the space, I said now is the time.”

Peterson’s Gallery and Chocolatier opened in November of 2011 and features a different local artist each month. Visitors can view artwork while enjoying a cup of drinking chocolate (made to order from milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate or a combination) and host of confections — chocolate bars, chocolate squares, truffles, brittles, caramels and more.

“I make chocolate every day. I know it is fresh. I know when people are eating it it’s exactly how I want it,” Peterson says. She enjoys experimenting with new flavors and decorating each piece. “The process of making them is really special.”

Art is a personal element of the business for the family, too. Peterson herself specializes in painting and printmaking, and her brother-in-law, Shawn, is a sculptor. “We really wanted a space for us to be able to show our own work and show the artists of the area,” she says.

Until you can get out to Baker City yourself, here’s a bit of chocolate inspiration to meditate on.

Alyssa Peterson’s Top Five Signature Chocolates
1. Coffee Caramel: A dark chocolate coffee-infused ganache and soft caramel dipped in dark chocolate
2. Vanilla Creame: Butter ganache dipped in milk chocolate or molded dark chocolate
3. Strawberry Pate de Fruit: Jellie made from fresh seasonal strawberries in molded white or dark chocolate
4. Earl Gray and Orange Zest Dark Chocolate: Earl Gray-infused ganache dipped in dark chocolate
5. Hazelnut Gianduja: Hazelnut butter with a milk or dark chocolate dipped in milk or dark chocolate

Also look for the Pendleton Whiskey Caramel, which Peterson created for a local customer. Visit the gallery website and Facebook page for upcoming shows and to see what new treats Peterson has created.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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