Choco Champs

Sarasota Shop Wins Big in International Chocolate Contest

Banyan Tree Chocolate & Cafe won recognition for its spicy chocolates and its caramels.

By Cooper Levey-Baker February 26, 2021

Banyan Tree Chocolate & Cafe's award-winning "Hot and Fuzzy" spicy chocolate.

Dessert lovers in Sarasota know that Banyan Tree Chocolate & Cafe's Morag Reid makes great sweets. Now the world is paying attention, too. The confectioner recently won multiple prizes in an international competition, which recognized Banyan Tree for its unique and spicy entries.

Banyan Tree confectioner Morag Reid.

The contest, hosted by The International Chocolate Salon, is held each year to celebrate and recognize creative sweets. Reid's "Hot and Fuzzy" chocolate truffle, made with a peach balsamic reduction and a peperoncino and olive oil ganache, won a silver medal in the Top Spicy Truffle category and the gold in the Most Unique category. Her "Miss Betsy" caramel, flavored with passion fruit and jasmine tea, won silver medals in two categories: Most Unique and Best Taste.

Overall, Banyan Tree was named a Master Chocolatier, one of just eight contestants to earn the honor, the organization's second-highest designation. "We have struggled this year along with everyone else," says Reid, "so this news is particularly rewarding."

Banyan Tree Chocolate & Cafe is located at 5170 Palmer Plaza Blvd., Sarasota, and is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. For more info, call (941) 923-2462 or visit the shop's website.

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