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You don't need to use your head to locate a good chocolate shop. Not the whole thing, anyway. Your nose will infallibly lead you in the right direction -- straight to Richard Everett's (3085 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-772-8856). In this carpeted strip-mall shop, which has the bare-bones charm of a basement rec room from the décor-forsaken '70s, the air is so heavily scented with cocoa you know where you are without even opening your eyes. Of course you might want to use some other senses to deal with the task at hand: selecting hand-dipped chocolates to stick in a bag or box. The Australian apricots, covered with milk chocolate, would be a prime choice if you can tear your gaze away from the pièce de résistance lying on the counter: homemade, hand-cut fudge. "Don't leave these in the car," the salesperson might warn you as you walk out the door with your goodies. And if your mouth wasn't already stuffed with a white chocolate lollipop in the shape of a heart, you might be able to reply that your purchases would be lucky to make it even that far.
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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick

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