Living in Ontario, I am lucky. There are a lot of bean to bar chocolate makers nearby. This is very handy since I am a chocoholic. Sometimes nearby is twenty minutes away. Sometimes it is a few hours away. Luckily, sometimes makers from a few hours away are in Ottawa.
I love that the packaging says “Share your chocolate with a friend.”
DesBarres is a micro batch chocolate maker making chocolate in Uxbridge, Ontario. Where? It’s just a bit outside of Toronto. (From here it is a four hour drive, close, but not.) Now I have never made it to Uxbridge, so I am always happy to see Erik and Ariane when they are in Ottawa. They’ve been a few times in the last year and I have been lucky enough to chat with them when they’ve been here.
I have been eating their bars for a while now. I think the first bar I had of theirs came in a chocolate subscription box a few years ago, back when I was new to bean to bar chocolate. I’m not sure which origin of theirs I tasted first, but I keep coming back to their bars.
I tend to gravitate towards their Ambanja Bar, as it’s 85% Madagascar (which is one of my favourite origins). Dark chocolate is my favourite, and generally I prefer the 80 to 90% ranges. Many artisan chocolate markers tend to make lots of bars in the 70% range so it’s really nice to find an 85% bar that I love.
The bars that DesBarres make are made using ethically traded cacao, so the farmers are getting a fair price for their product, unlike much of the cacao sold in the world. I love how their passion for chocolate eating turned into chocolate making.
In 2017 they won a World Bronze at the International Chocolate Awards for their Black Pepper and Cardamom bar. It is made with 72% Tanzanian chocolate. This bar also won the Canadian Gold at the International Chocolate Awards.
This year they have introduced a new bar: Zafara. It has Canadian grown True Saffron and 72% Guatemalan chocolate. It’s a unique flavour. I love that they are working with another Ontario company, True Saffron, to create a unique bar. Did you know that Saffron is in the same plant family as Crocus and Iris? Plus, its different in that it blooms in October, while crocus’ are usually one of the first plants up in the spring.
Lately I’ve been enjoying their new Maya Mountain 72% Belize bar, it’s been hanging out in my purse so I can have a bite every now and then.
I’m looking forward to seeing Erik and Ariane when they are next in Ottawa, quite often they sell at 613flea.
I especially enjoy their bars as they mostly have just two ingredients; cocoa beans and cane sugar.
Here’s a link to Desbarres website, just in case you need some chocolate or want to learn more about them.
Have you tried any of their bars? They have a rainbow of flavours available. Have you tried black pepper and cardamom or saffron with chocolate before?
Find me on instagram @canadianchocoholic for more photos of their delicious chocolate bars.