Field Trip – Delight Homemade Organic Fair Trade Chocolate

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/delight-toronto

http://www.blogto.com/grocery/delight

Delight Chocolates has two locations offering its handmade, fair trade, organic chocolates. The original shop is in the Junction and the newer shop is on Queen Street West.  Both offer delicious handmade chocolates in flavours such as cardamon-rosewater, salted caramel and even blue cheese.  We went to the Queen West location where we interviewed the very friendly and helpful staff, and tasted some of their homemade ice cream and chocolates.

The flavour of the caramel milk chocolates blew me away, as did the dark chocolate with gold leaf.

Unbelievably, they even make a Quebec Blue Cheese chocolate, complete with a fleur-de-lis decoration.  Other imaginative flavours include fig and balsamic, chocolate caramel with smoked sea salt, grapefruit and chili, and walnut and fleur de sel.

It’s nice to people who are so skilled and passionate succeeding at what they do, and it’s lucky for us that they’re doing it right here in Toronto.  As a self-proclaimed hopeless chocoholic, I’m always looking for that next fix, different and better than the last last one.  I found it at Delight, and I’ll definitely be back.

Delight – Junction location – street view

Friendly staff – Dominique Vanolm

My purchases
Top left: Walnut fleur de sel (dark)
Top right: Ice wine (dark)
Hazelnut toffee (milk)
Bottom right: Maple butter (milk)
Each chocolate was better than the next, with creamy and flavourful centres, and very high-quality chocolate coatings. If I was forced to choose, though, it would be a battle between the walnut and fleur de sel and the ice wine.

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Field Trip – The Chocolate Addict

http://www.torontolife.com/guide/food/chocolatiers/the-chocolate-addict/

Chocolate Addict, located on Baldwin Street in Kensington Market, sells all kinds of chocolate items, including cocoa powder, fresh chocolate sauce, moulded chocolates and chocolate bars.  The main attraction for me, however, was the truffle counter.  The truffles are made in-house by owner Jeremy Zhang, and are very tasty.  Flavours include peanut butter (salty and sweet), cinnamon (pronounced, yet it doesn’t overpower the chocolate, lavender, basil, chili pepper, cherry, tutti frutti and more.

I was most impressed by the fact that Jeremy uses a rather thick coating of Callebaut couverture chocolate, and even more impressed that he sells it in large blocks at a more affordable price.  This product is difficult to find in retail stores around town.  I usually only see it cut into smaller squares at Whole Foods and the St. Lawrence Market, at a much more exhorbitant price.  Thank you Jeremy.

Kensington Market is closed to traffic for a few hours every Sunday.  This would be the perfect time to drop in and poke around.  Don’t let the location or exterior fool you.  This store is a great little gem.

Chocolate Addict – street view

Selection of handmade truffles

Callebaut blocks for sale (bottom shelf)

Jeremy Zhang, creative candymaker and owner of Chocolate Addict

Field Trip – Odile Chocolat

http://www.odilechocolat.com/

http://www.bizbash.com/odile_chatelain_opens_new_chocolate_boutique/toronto/story/14488/

Odile runs a small retail operation compared to others, but is nevertheless quite busy with her corporate and other pursuits.  She took the time to explain what she does and how she does it.  Her knowledge of different chocolates, their origins, flavour profiles and flavour pairings seems endless.  Her handmade truffles are inventive – one even contained mushrooms – and are made from 54 percent Callebaut chocolate.  The flavours range from lavender, cognac and chai masala to vodka, grapefruit, cardamon and even black trumpet mushroom.  Her chocolate are not only delicious but beautiful.

Although I didn’t get to try her brownies, I hear that that they are out of this world and sell out fast.

Odile recently won the gold Reader Choice award for best chocolate by the Villager, and her truffles were served to HRH Prince Charles and Camilla during their recent visit to Toronto.

Odile’s group photo with Prince Charles

 
She is a very gracious and talented lady.

Do yourself a favour and drop in to see Odile.  You’ll be very glad you did!

Odile Chatelain, proprietor

Odile’s Chocolate Bark

One of my purchases

Another of my purchases

My favourite purchase of all!

Field Trip – SOMA Chocolatemaker

We started our day-long chocolate adventure at SOMA Chocolatemaker on King Street West, Toronto.  This location is a newer one.  The original one is in the Distillery District.  Chocolate beans are roasted, ground and conched at the Distillery location.  Both locations make chocolate confections, dutched cocoa powder, truffles, etc.  I was impressed with the size of the operation and the quality of what I sampled.  The staff, including the owner, were very knowledgable and forthcoming with information.

http://www.somachocolate.com/SOMA_home.html

SOMA’s King Street microfactory

SOMA’s King Street microfactory

Yuri Fraser, a SOMA employee at the King Street location. Not only was he friendly and helpful in spite of how busy he was, but he was very knowledgeable about every single product they produce and sell. Very impressive.  And he made me a killer hot chocolate.

SOMA’s Dark Side of the Mug hot chocolate

Hated it. KIDDING!

SOMA single-origin chocolates, truffles and a cocoa pod

SOMA chocolate cake, cocoa pod and mexican molonillos

SOMA dutched cocoa powder

SOMA chocolate bars

SOMA pure chocolate and nibs

A traditional Italian chocolate-coffee concoction

One of my purchases – SOMA hot chocolate. While they’re famous for their spiced Mayan hot chocolate, I took home the hazelnut version, which was delicious.

Another SOMA purchase – two truffles (top two) and four different single-origin chocolates (bottom four). The single origin chocolates were from the Ivory coast, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, and the nuances were noticeable between them. All were delicious. The top left truffle was coconut passion fruit, their flavour of the month. I mainly tasted the passion fruit but all in all it tasted spectacular. The top right truffle contained an olive oil filling.  Notice the beautiful gloss due to careful and painstaking tempering.