I am a sucker for anything "General Store" related: Cooperstown; Hillsdale; Fort Orange. I patronize them all.
It likely harkens to that great general store that was the hub of village activities in my hometown. It's only a memory now, as the building it was housed in -- the Cox Block, the grand madame situated on the corner of the crossroads -- burned just before Christmas last year. Maybe subtly grasping at nostalgia is the general store draw for me.
So when a friend suggested that we check out the recently-opened Vischer Ferry General Store in the sleepy, historic Clifton Park hamlet, I was all for it.
A modest website suggested little on what I might find there (except for charm and an old-timey feel), so I went in blindly, assured by my friend I could at least have coffee there.
She said nothing of Dutch drinking chocolate. These are the kinds of surprises I can fully get behind.
Dutch drinking chocolate is just that -- Dutch-processed cocoa powder that has been sweetened, and then added to milk and warmed to just scalded (steaming with small bubbles forming around the edges). And then, you drink it.
It's called "Dutch" because this particular process for creating cocoa powder was developed in Holland, and it differs from other types of cocoa or chocolate because it has been alkalized to produced a less acidic, richer, and smoother chocolate.
In other words, perfect for drinking. It's like sipping the best chocolate bar you can think of, in liquid form. Creamy and luxurious, it brings the same joy of that first cup of hot cocoa after a day of building snow forts as a kid, just far more sophisticated. The chef and co-owner of the store is also Dutch, and proudly represents her homeland with this mug-sized delight.
Vischer Ferry General Store offers the Dutch drinking chocolate ($3.95) alongside a small menu of nibbles and treats. Coffee and espresso drinks come piping hot to wash down housemade pastries, like croissant, apple snack cake, and macarons swirled high and slowly baked.
Breakfast sandwiches and a daily soup are also available -- $4.95 provided a perfectly portioned bowl of Tuscan white bean soup and a little baguette.
When drinking hot chocolate usually conjures images of Swiss Miss just-add-water packs of brown, flavorless powder with tiny styrofoam-like marshmallows, the Dutch drinking chocolate at Vischer Ferry General Store salvages the reputation of hot cocoa. Don't hesitate to venture off the beaten path and give this cup of cheer a try.
Vischer Ferry General Store
357 Riverview Road
Rexford, NY 121480
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