I love all chocolate, but I do love to support our Canadian chocolate makers. Anything chocolate always has me excited. Desserts, chocolate bars, bean to bar chocolate, chocolate treats, or even just a drizzle of chocolate on top of something.
Maybe I have a problem?
So lets talk about Canadian chocolate. There are so many amazing chocolate products out on the market, where do you start?
If you head to the malls all across Canada you’ll find several larger chocolate companies that make great chocolate. Purdys Chocolate, Laura Secord Chocolate, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are all easy to find at many malls.
These companies all make great chocolate treats, are great for picking up a box for the office to share or a thank you gift for the chocolate lover in your life. Or if you need, just one bonbon to go or eat on the spot. I know how tempting a whole box of chocolates can be, and how sometimes just buying one is a win. Sometimes these shops will also have several bean to bar products or fair trade products.
There are often smaller unique chocolate shops around too, check out the chocolatier in your neighbourhood. Their bonbons are usually delicious, small batch, and full of unique flavours. These little independent chocolate shops are some of my favourite places to visit while traveling, letting me explore the beauty and art of the bonbon as well as fun flavours, often specific to that area of the country. Chocolatiers get to play around with so many flavours and change up what their shop carries often, so visit regularly! Plus, so many chocolate shops make such beautifully coloured bonbons, it is like a box of art to go, but you can eat it!
Bean to bar chocolate is harder to find in our everyday lives. It usually means a trip to a specialty store and isn’t easily found in the malls. The best places to find bean to bar chocolate are often places foodies would visit. Cheese stores, farmers markets, market stands (think Granville Island, Jean-Talon Market, and places that are similar. Health food stores often carry some bean to bar chocolate as well (less additives folks with it usually having just three ingredients). Smaller independent grocery/food stores that support local producers are also a fabulous place to find excellent chocolate.
Maybe you are super lucky and are near a bean to bar chocolate producer (I’m jealous), maybe you can walk to a shop, chat with the chocolate maker and pick up a bar or three. In places like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal there are many easily accessible shops to visit. If you aren’t that close I urge you to visit a bean to bar chocolate maker if you have the chance. I have visited many bean to bar shops now and the smell alone is worth the visit. Seeing the process however is very eye opening. It is a long process where the chocolate maker puts in much care to create the end product. The closest chocolate maker to me is about a 45 minute drive away. It is always worth the drive, and usually the shop has a few more offerings that you might find other places the chocolate maker sells their product. Some chocolate makers have regular shop hours, others may work on their own schedule, so it’s always wise to check before you visit.
Many stores also have bean to bar as well as bonbons and other chocolate products available, which is a winning combo in opinion. Jojo Coco has a selection of both here in Ottawa.
Whatever kind of chocolate you prefer, be it bonbons or bean to bar chocolate, be sure to enjoy it. Take time to savour the taste and flavours the chocolatiers and chocolate makers have worked to create. Let the foodie within you indulge in fine artisan chocolate.
See my Instagram account for Canadian Chocolate Makers near you, or send me a message if you have questions about where you can find craft chocolate.
Also check out my blog post on Chocolate for ore information on chocolatey things.