Mmmm, chocolate. Smooth, sometimes creamy, sometimes bitter; flavoured with salt, ginger, chili, cinnamon, you name it. The food of the Gods (seriously, I think it really WAS considered the food of the God of wisdom by the Aztecs - Wikipedia tells me so!)
I used to believe that all chocolate was created equal - I would eat my Easter chocolate bunnies, and scarf down those marshmallow-chocolate Santas without a second thought. As an adult I discovered the difference in quality of chocolate - the deep, rich cacao or the smooth Dutch-processed cocoa (yup, there is a difference between cacao and cocoa!). And I became quite choosy in my indulgences :)
Of course I will still eat the mini chocolate bars we hand out to kids at Halloween, but I don't find myself enjoying them much, other than to satisfy a sugar fix. These days I'm spending my money on great quality chocolates, some of which are Fair Trade (a wonderful book called Bitter Chocolate by Carol Off may have you swearing off non-Fair Trade chocolate for life!) So here are 6 great places to eat and purchase chocolate in Ottawa:
1) Ten Thousand Villages sells very yummy Fair Trade chocolate; I love their Easter bunnies for kids, and have also purchased ground cocoa and dark chocolate chips at their stores in Ottawa.
2) The Love of Chocolate Factory sells Leonidas chocolates, a Belgian company that has been making chocolate for over 100 years. These may not be locally made or Fair Trade, but I do love to support my Orleans neighbourhood businesses (and the chocolates are yummy!)
3) Truffle Treasures is a true local gem, with all the chocolates made here in Ottawa and locally owned. You'll remember I featured them yesterday on the blog!
4) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is centrally located, and boasts a huge selection of chocolates and cool treats
5) Purdy's Chocolatier is a Canadian gem that got its start in B.C. and has 64 stores across the country, with 2 stores here in Ottawa. Consumers who are considered about fair trade and sustainability of the product will be happy to hear Purdy's Sustainable Cocoa Program.
6) Stubbe Chocolates is a family-run business that originated in Germany, but moved to Canada in the late 1980s. Their website is drool-worthy, and I love the corporate event idea of making chocolates with your co-workers!
Where do you buy great chocolate?