Earlier in September I headed to Toronto. Now Toronto isn’t that far away, but it’s one of those places I get to, but not often, and usually there is a reason.
This time it was for a chocolate adventure.
Now what makes a chocolate adventure you ask?
Well I was headed to Toronto for all things chocolate. I left Ottawa on a Friday morning and took the train to Toronto. Once I had arrived in Toronto I spent the afternoon at the Aquarium. This particular day I was avoiding chocolate… wait what? Yes it is true, I had only a very tiny nibble of chocolate on my early morning train ride.
But why? I know you’re asking. So, let me tell you about Saturday. Saturday morning I head to Geroge Brown College to judge the Canadian portion of the International Chocolate Awards. Right? Fun! I had never done this before but it sounded like it would be an amazing experience. So that day I spent a little over 6 hours eating one bite of chocolate followed by a bite of polenta and a sip of water, followed by another bite of chocolate. I don’t know how many bites of chocolate I had that day, but it was alot!
The following day I went back for more and spent the first two hours of the day judging even more chocolate.
Honestly it was so much fun, it was great to try so many unique and interesting chocolate creations. I also met some really great people that I hope to stay in touch with.
I wasn’t really sure how it would go, eating chocolate for two days. Luckily the polenta, used as a palate cleanser, and the water seemed to keep me happy and I didn’t really suffer from a sugar high or sugar crash. I also only ate about half of each piece of chocolate to help avoid chocolate overload. Okay, maybe a few full pieces of the really delicious ones.
So, the beginning of the chocolate adventure was off to a great start. Sunday afternoon I stopped into Soma Chocolate to grab some bonbons, because really, when in Toronto it is a must stop.
Now I know you are wondering if this trip can get any better, but yes, yes it can!
On Monday morning I took a bus, a subway, and another bus to a brewery for a class. Tasting Chocolate and Cacao Level I taught by the International Institute of Cacao and Chocolate Tasting. Yep, I spent the day eating even more chocolate as I learnt even more about cacao. Again I met some new friends.
Tuesday to Thursday I took Level II of Tasting Chocolate and Cacao, eating even more chocolate. Yes really, I was on a diet of chocolate, polenta and water. Or at least it seemed that way.
Now most of this class was great. I really learnt so much. However there were a few parts that were not near as enjoyable as others. Like that time we tasted rancid chocolate. So we would know the flavour. Yeah, not the highlight of the course. The chocolate we tasted was amazing and varried. We were able to use a tasting chart on the computer that let us put in all our information about each bite of chocolate as we tasted it. Exploring flavours was so much fun, smelling different foods was also really interesting.
In the evenings after class I usually found my way to a chocolate shop. Soma (yes again) one night, Sak’s, and The Candy Bar. I had hoped to get to Chocosol Traders as well, but they were a bit to far out of my way.
Class finished up Thursday afternoon with a test and a blind tasting…. fingers crossed I passed. I had such a great time exploring this chocolate journey and meeting other people on their journey with chocolate.
You’d think this would have been the end of the chocolate adventure, but no, it is not.
I woke up Friday morning and headed to Soul Chocolate for a hot chocolate, my first in a week, and some goodies. I brought home a scone and a cookie too.
After finishing up at Soul I took the street car to Mary’s Brigedaeiro and picked up some yummy treats there to take home.
Then I sat at the beach enjoy the lovely sunny afternoon before heading to the train station for my train home.
PS- turns out that I did indeed pass my class, it took almost two months to get the results, but I did pass and am super happy about that. Now what does that mean for what is next?