Friday, November 30, 2012

Some state of chocolate

Nearly eight months after Kerstin's Chocolates closed its doors, I'm happy to see such great things going on chocolate wise around the city. Well known by now, Kerstin's sister, Angie, has picked up the Kerstin's house brand, Chocophilia, and you can find bars, Caviar and drinking chocolate and other treats at farmers' markets and events around the city. Locals and dates are shared here. And of course, Jacek Chocolate opened their first boutique in Sherwood Park a couple months ago.

That said, there are some other great things happening that I thought were worth mentioning too.

The Jones Chocolate Company

First off, we have our very first bean-to-bar manufacturer in Edmonton. Curtis Jones launched The Jones Chocolate Company in early October. He sources cocoa beans from farmers around the world, paying more than fair trade prices. The roasting, winnowing and conching of the beans happens right here in Edmonton, and beautiful bars of single origin chocolate are the result.

*Photo from their website

I ordered a couple bars from the first batch - a 70% dark chocolate made with beans from the Dominican Republic. The chocolate had a beautiful balance of smoky, tobacco like flavours, along with fruit notes to finish. Definitely impressive. At Make It, I picked up a 60% dark milk bar made from Dominican beans, along with a 70% bar made from Venezuela beans - I haven't cracked them yet but am certainly looking forward to it.

You can find the full collection of bars online here.

The Violet Chocolate Company

You might recognize Rebecca Grant from Kerstin's, where she made bars and confections for a little more than two years. She's now launched her own venture, The Violet Chocolate Company, which features her amazing hand made confections and flavoured bars. She changes up the confections each month, and will be doing a feature bar in addition to her regular line up (it's currently a salted caramel pecan... If you find it, grab it!).

Currently the bar line up includes flavours like Clover Honey and Rosemary in a 49% dark-milk chocolate, Caramel Toasted Coconut with Valrhona's decadent Carmelia chocolate and Toasted Sesame and Ginger. You can check out all her flavours here.

Rebecca (aka. Becca) can be found at events around the city, and you can currently find her line of bars at Evoolution on 104 Street. Make sure you keep an eye on her Facebook page for further details.

Provisions by Duchess

Hopefully you've had a chance to swing by Provisions, next door to Duchess Bake Shop. They carry amazing preserves, spices and other baking additions, flours and grains, butter and loads of books and baking gear.

You can also find shelves full of Theo Chocolate's bars (Phinney and otherwise) and salted caramels, as well as bars from François Pralus, Amedei, Bonnat (if you haven't had any of their dark-milk bars, you're missing out) and my favourite, Patric. These bars are perfect stocking stuffers, with shelf lives from 6 (milk chocolate) to 18 (dark chocolate) months, so make sure you get there early.

So there you have it. Lot's of exciting options chocolate wise this year.


Kerstin said...

Good post, Marianne!

Marianne said...

Thanks, Kerstin!

foodieMcPoon said...

I know the owner of The Jones Chocolate Company. He taught a few baking and pastry classes at Nait and works at The Enjoy Centre!