We think that chocolate can fix just about anything. So, we're sharing our top 5 Canadian-made chocolate bars here!
by Susan Keefe
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Had a bad day? Chocolate, please! Had a good day? Celebratory chocolate, please! Admit it, getting your chocolate fix isn’t a choice it’s a necessity. And while chocolate anything is like a slice of heaven, sometimes you want to indulge your chocolate-loving tastebuds in something complex, carefully crafted and downright decadent. That’s where these Canadian-made artisanal chocolate bars come in.
- SOMA - Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s ultra-trendy Distillery District, SOMA is considered an institution among chocolate-loving Torontonians. Known for their attention to detail, the chocolatiers at SOMA make their chocolate directly from free-trade cocoa beans sourced from plantations all over the world. Not only is SOMA a wonderful place to sample some outstanding chocolate, it’s also a fantastic place to learn more about the bean to bar process. SOMA is outfitted with viewing windows that look onto the petite chocolate factory, so you can watch these chocolate-wielding wizards work in real time. Give their Peruvian Dark 64% chocolate bar a try; you can get unadorned, or studded with candied orange peel, Australian ginger, wild cherries, hazelnuts and/or almonds.
- Hummingbird Chocolate Maker – Just outside Ottawa, in the town of Almonte, magic is happening. From their small workshop, Drew and Erica Gilmore are creating intoxicating chocolate bars using organic single origin cocoa beans. Following a traditional ten-step process dating back to the 19th century, the Gilmores believe in taking their time to get eat bar right. Try their Fleur de Sel chocolate bar. Its made using organic Trinatario cacao from the Dominican Republic and hand harvested sea salt. The bar boasts a fruity taste paired with a salty tang.
- Choklat – This Calgary bean-to-bar outfit has made a name for itself by producing glossy bar of chocolate made using single origin and, in some cases, single estate cocoa beans. Choklat strives to source rare and highly prized beans to ensure the quality and knock-out taste of every bar. Their Porcelana bar is worth a taste. Billed as the “Holy Grail” of chocolate, the Porcelana bean is so limited in supply that only a handful of chocolatiers have access to them. Thankfully Choklat got their hands on them and made this bar that delivers a rich flavour profile accented with delicate notes of fruit.
- Olivia Chocolat – Based in Chantley, QC, Olivia Chocolat has received international attention for it’s dark chocolate bar Olivia Chocolat 76% after it placed second in 2011 The Academy of Chocolate Awards in London, England. Beyond their more traditional varieties of artisanal dark and milk chocolate, Olivia Chocolat also boasts a line of raw chocolate bars. The raw chocolate used in the bars is made using non-roasted Grand Cru, Criollo/Trinitario cocoa. The result is a bar with a delicate taste and a remarkably smooth texture. Less bitter than it’s roasted counterparts, raw chocolate bars require less sugar. If you’re accustomed to 70% dark chocolate, select the 86% Raw Olivia Chocolat a similar but more nuanced tasting experience.
- ChocoSol Traders – Celebrating 10 years in business, ChocoSol Trader is an artisanal chocolate maker with a conscience. The company prides itself on creating chocolate that is freetrade and ecologically sound. The chocolate processed in a solar-powered facility, and blended using pedal powered devices. ChocoSol uses organic, shade grown cacao beans sourced from the forest gardens in Lacondon Jungle of Chaipas, Mexico and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico. The Lucious Coconut Bar is delivers what the name promises; a luscious bar of chocolate packed with crisp strands of shredded coconut.