A beautifully packaged box of the best chocolate truffles, from the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

Are These the Best Chocolate Truffles in Oregon? In the Country?

Recently, my constant search for the best chocolate truffles wherever I may roam took me up a small country lane in Oregon’s Willamette Valley to a place of peace, quiet… and Heavenly Chocolates.

Lives there a Nomad Woman on this earth who does not love chocolate? If so, I have yet to meet her. I most definitely am NOT her. I love chocolate in just about any form—hot, cold, bars, bonbons, drinks, sauces.

A sign at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity. Oregon reads "I need more balance in my life: Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate

Obviously, the monks of the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon, have a sense of humor. And they know their chocolate is the best.

But truffles? Oh, truffles! Chocolate truffles! The magic of the hand-rolled ganache. The densely flavored outer coating of chocolate. The closing of the eyes and the sinking in of the teeth. Oh yeah. I do love me a truffle or two… or ten. And when they happen to be among the country’s very best chocolate truffles? For truffles that good, I’m even willing to tote some extra baggage weight to take a few boxes of those babies home with me, for myself and for friends who are high up on the “I love you lots” scale.

When it comes to the heavenly qualities of chocolate, the truffles I recently toted home have a unique advantage—being crafted by hand in a monastery. I’m talking about the gourmet chocolate confections made by the Brigittine Monks of the Priory of Our Lady of Consolation in Amity, Oregon.

Chocolate cherry truffle, best chocolate truffles, Brigittine Monks, Amity, Oregon

A chocolate cherry truffle from the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

I discovered this place and their products years ago when visiting family in the Willamette Valley, just south of Portland. My sister was a real estate broker at the time and mentioned that she’d just sold a piece of property to a group of monks. And that they intended to support their monastery by making and selling fudge. And that it was astonishingly wonderful fudge. She was right and it was. It still is.

In fact, the fudge is so good it has been written up in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Chocolatier and even People Magazine, among others. It’s been talked about on The Food Network, CNN and ABC Nightly News. It was even featured on Jeopardy! Yeah, see? This is good stuff!

A sign points the way to chocolate samplings--fudge and the best chocolate truffles--at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

Chocolate sampling? Why yes please! Right this way to taste great fudge and the Best Chocolate Trufflesat the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

The monastery, the only male Brigittine monastery in the United States, has been making this amazing, super-creamy, wonderful fudge since the 1970s, when they were still located in San Francisco. Then a few years after settling into their Willamette Valley home in the ‘80s, they added chocolate truffles to their product mix.

The Best Chocolate Truffles…Created Directly from Heaven?

With such a reputation for excellence with their fudge, of course they were not going to be satisfied with anything less than making the best chocolate truffles possible. So that is what they did. And while it is that melt-in-your-mouth fudge they’re most famous for, it’s the truffles that have me driving these Oregon country roads. It’s the truffles that have visions of chocolate-covered creaminess dancing in my head. It’s the chocolate truffles….

As you’d expect, the monastery is a peaceful place, set in pastoral farmland at the end of a mile-long gravel road. The grounds include a vineyard, a small orchard and a veggie garden tended by the monks to help them be self-sustaining.

The Brigittines are a contemplative order and one of their missions is to support themselves “by the labor of their hands.” “We don’t go out into the world,” explains Brother Steven, the monastery spokesman. “But all monasteries have to make a living. Chocolate is our means of support.”

A view of the lovely Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation, home of the best chocolate truffles in Oregon.

The Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation in Amity, Oregon, is a place of peace and contemplation… and chocolate.

The road ends at a tree-shaded area beside the Priory church. When I arrive, mine is the only car in sight. The main sounds are the breeze in the pine trees, an occasional bird tweet and my footsteps on the gravel. But then I step into the lovely small church, which is open to the public, just in time to hear the monks chanting the last of the mass. The sound wafts up into the wooden beams and falls onto me in a peaceful sigh. As it dies, they file out of the church to their lunch.

Interior of the priory church at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

Priory Church of the Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation, Amity Oregon

I stop to admire the quartet of jewel-toned stained-glass windows spilling colors onto the wooden floor at the back of the chapel-sized room. The space seems filled with grace.

Stained glass windows in the Priory Church at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

Stained glass windows in the Priory Church at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

Back outside again, the air seems even purer, softer, the clear Oregon air more benevolent. The shop where the confections are sold is just to the left of the church. Ring the bell next to the door and someone—a monk or lay worker—will come to greet you.

The entrance to the Brigittine Monks gift shop, Amity Oregon, just beside the church.

The entrance to the gift shop is just beside the church. Just ring the bell to be warmly welcomed.

In the small retail space, you’ll find not only the heavenly fudge and those best chocolate truffles ever, but also dozens of books on saints, the liturgy and Catholicism in general. There are rosaries and medals and images and other holy items to remind you how blessed this place and these sweets are.

You’re also greeted by a sign with the purely pragmatic reminder: Chocolate is cheaper than psychotherapy and you don’t need an appointment.

And we know it’s the chocolate you’re really here for. Don’t try to pretend otherwise. You can pick up a T-shirt with the logo of the monastery and a Book of Saints, but we all know why you’re really here. It’s the chocolate….

How Do They Do It?

So what makes this chocolate so good? What makes the fudge so creamy and the truffles possibly the best chocolate truffles you’ll ever eat? Are they really touched by an angel?

A Brigittine Brother adds the monastery's signature swirl to top of one-pound tubs of fudge ready for shipping.

A Brigittine Brother adds the monastery’s signature swirl to top of one-pound tubs of fudge ready for shipping.

Well for starters, they use only the highest quality ingredients: pure cream and fresh dairy butter, local filberts and walnuts, genuine natural flavors and only Guittard chocolate, which comes from the oldest family-owned and operated chocolate company in the U.S., founded by a noted French chocolate maker in 1868. No preservatives of any kind are used either.

Also, the candy is made in relative silence. As a contemplative order, the Brigittines don’t talk as a general rule. It is not a strict silence—speaking is allowed when necessary to communicate—but there’s no chit-chat in the kitchen. “That’s what’s nice about the candy business,” says Brother Steven. “It is something we can do in silence and keep in communion with God.”

Perhaps there is something in this quiet, contemplative life that adds a special richness and depth to the product they produce. Perhaps it’s the level of concentration and attention to detail. Or simply the spirit of peace that permeates the walls and grounds of the monastery itself. Whatever, the chocolate seems just that little bit richer, smoother, more mellow for it, as if this amazing fudge and these best chocolate truffles do have something of the presence of God mixed right into their DNA.

A monk from the Brigittine monastery prepares a batch of the best chocolate truffles for shipping.

A monk from the Brigittine monastery prepares a batch of the best chocolate truffles for shipping.

With modern equipment and old-fashioned commitment, the fudge is mixed and poured, the signature swirl added to the one-pound blocks by hand. The chocolate truffle centers are hand-rolled then hand-dipped before packing.

The fudge comes in seven varieties, including the basic original fudge, with or without nuts, and varieties such as amaretto, extra dark, chocolate cherry nut, hazelnut and pecan praline. Prices range from $11.95 to $13.95 for a one-pound box.

The chocolate truffles come in a dozen varieties. To my mind, the maple ones are clearly touched by heaven and the butter rum chocolate truffles are most definitely inspired by an angel. Then there’s amaretto, mint, cherry. Or maybe you like orange, raspberry, or extra dark chocolate truffles. You will have to decide for yourself which ones you think are the best chocolate truffles. If you simply can’t make up your mind, the assorted box gives you six big bites of yumminess in one package for $13.95.

Whichever you choose, buy more than you think you’ll need or want. Trust me on this.

A beautifully packaged box of the best chocolate truffles, from the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon

You’re likely to find yourself toting more than one of these babies home with you. Pretty enough for gifts… if you don’t eat all these best chocolate truffles yourself!

Discover Amity, Oregon

Before leaving the area, you should definitely check out the sweet small town of Amity. Step into the Coelho Winery to try some fine local wines. The tasting room is a comfortable space more like an oversized living room with a big wooden bar made of wine barrels and a cozy fireplace for drizzly Oregon days.

Visit the Coelho Winery and Tasting Room in Amity, Oregon before or after a stop at the Brigittine Monastery for the best chocolate truffles.

Visit the Coelho Winery and Tasting Room in Amity, Oregon before or after a stop at the
Brigittine Monastery for the best chocolate truffles.

If you’re hungry, you can’t do better than to stop for a meal at The Blue Goat on Amity’s main street. This very comfortable, locally run place features wood-fired dishes cooked in a specially built cob oven. They use seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes almost daily but standard items include goat empanadas and their signature cob-oven pizzas. Innovative salads and small plates are giving The Blue Goat a growing reputation for excellence and drawing foodies from all over the Willamette Valley and beyond.

The Blue Goat interior, a cozy, comfortable place with seriously good food in Amity, Oregon.

The Blue Goat on the main street of Amity, Oregon has been drawing serious foodies from all over the Willamette Valley with their wood-fired, locally sourced creations.

But wherever you stop and whatever you eat and drink… be sure to save room for dessert. Because once you’re back in the car, you’ll remember. You’ve got some of the world’s best chocolate truffles in there! And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hard pressed to stop yourself. You will have to open one of those boxes for “just a taste” of those Heavenly Chocolates.


If you can’t get to the Brigittine Monastery to buy their amazing fudge and chocolate truffles, not to worry…. You can order them from the Brigittine’s online store. They are also available in several retail outlets in the area and in the Made in Oregon stores in downtown Portland, Salem and other locations. Most convenient for me is the Made in Oregon stores right at PDX airport! If you forgot your chocolate truffles, you can pick up a couple of boxes just before your flight home!

Contact Info:

The Brigittine Monks – Priory of Our Lady of Consolation

Amity, Oregon 97101
Phone: (503) -835-8080
www.brigittine.org
E-mail: monks@brigittine.org

The Blue Goat
506 S. Trade Street
Amity, Oregon 97101
503-835-5170
www.amitybluegoat.com

Coelho Winery
111 5TH Street
Amity, Oregon 97101 USA
Phone: (503) 835-9305
coelhowinery.com/tasting-room-winery


For a glimpse of the modern preparation process of the best chocolate truffles and fudge at the Brigittine Monastery—but always with that blessed human touch—check out this video from.
Travel Oregon.

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26 replies
  1. Alouise
    Alouise says:

    I love chocolate truffles, and ones made by monks in a monastery that seems pretty cool. I’ve never heard of this place before but whenever I go to Oregon I’ll be sure to take a detour here.

    Reply
    • Donna
      Donna says:

      You will love it if you make it there, Alouise, but I just added to the post how to order them online. Also, they are available at the Made in Oregon stores at PDX airport. I always pick up a couple of extra boxes for friends just before my flight!

      Reply
  2. Stefan
    Stefan says:

    Oh man! Those chocolates truly look like they’ve been touched by an angel!! It’s amazing the allure of truffles- you just keep on reading, salivating at the pictures ahahaha! Fascinating to read how they’re made.

    Reply
  3. Megan
    Megan says:

    Now I have to get in my car and dry up to Oregon! I’ll have to save this for the next time I’m up there since I don’t want to miss out on these.

    Reply
  4. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I have been to the Brigittine Monastery many times. Its such a peaceful place but have yet to actually see a monk. Thank goodness for your pic or I would have thought they were a myth!

    Reply
    • Donna
      Donna says:

      Such a beautiful place for hiking. Enjoy! If you don’t make it to the monastery, the fudge and chocolates are available at the Portland airport in the Made in Oregon stores!

      Reply
  5. Colleen Friesen
    Colleen Friesen says:

    And this is why I love social media.
    I saw your IG photo from Ajijic (one of my favourite little Mexican towns), then, because your feed looked interesting, I came to your blog and discovered this story.
    I just flew home (to Vancouver) from Portland and will be driving down there, trailer in tow, at the beginning of May.
    And now, this chocolate adventure will be on our itinerary. My husband, who, like me, is also a chocoholic, will be very grateful for this serendipitous research.
    Thank you for the info and the heavenly description.

    Reply
    • Donna
      Donna says:

      Thanks for that great comment, Colleen. I love that kind of serendipity through social media too. And enjoy your roadtrip back down to Oregon. While you’re on your trip, be sure to check out the town of McMinnville, just up the road from Amity and quite a bit bigger–but still sufficiently “small town” to be charming. Their main downtown street, 3rd Street, has been named one of the best main streets in the USA and it is a great destination visit, full of wonderful boutiques, wine-tasting venues, artisan bakeries, excellent restaurants and a great organic market, among other things. If you love great tapas with good wines, have a meal at La Rambla, which I’ll be posting about soon. (Full disclosure: my niece is the manager. But the food is truly divine!)

      Reply

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