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1. Purdy's (Vancouver)
Since the opening of the original store on Robson Street, Vancouver, in 1907, Purdy's has remained dedicated to producing superb chocolates made with delectable fresh ingredients. Although it is perhaps most famous for its cute (and delicious) chocolate hedgehogs -- hedgehog-shaped chocolates with creamy hazelnut fillings -- Purdy's also creates a vast array of other specialty and filled chocolates. With almost 60 shops â€¨in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, and â€¨an online store, a hedgehog or two need never be far from you.
"The best dark chocolate is â€¨from Purdy's...particularly the dark chocolate pink salt â€¨caramels and cinnamon chili dark chocolates." â€¨-- Vicky Radley, â€¨via Facebook
2. Sweet â€¨Lollapalooza (Edmonton)
After years of travelling the world, Australian-born chocolatier Brett Roy settled in Edmonton to make some of the finest, freshest confections in the country, which are available at Sweet Lollapalooza. Handmade daily in small batches, his creations change regularly, depending on his inspiration and the season. One of the most popular chocolates is the Passion Paradou, a dark chocolate filled with tropical milk chocolate ganache, which was inspired by Roy's mother's passion fruit pavlova.
3. Chocolatier Constance Popp (Winnipeg)
The storefront on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg is as elegant as the chocolates themselves. Made fresh daily using â€¨local ingredients when possible and the best quality single-origin chocolate, Constance Popp's chocolates are like little pieces of art. Unique additions, such as maple syrup, tequila, red beets, caraway seeds and bacon, find their way into some of the chocolate creations. The flavours change constantly with the seasons, but the signature chocolate, filled with vanilla bean--cream white chocolate ganache, is a telling sign of the classic contemporary style of this shop.
4. Rheo Thompson (Stratford, Ont.)
Rheo Thompson has been delighting customers with traditional handmade chocolates and candies for more than 43 years. The Mint Smoothie is the signature chocolate that keeps customers coming back. Available in milk or dark chocolate with a refreshing mint centre, it's not to be missed. â€¨A giant selection of butter, vanilla and peanut butter creams rounds out the offerings. Chocolates and candies â€¨can also be purchased online.
"â€¨Rheo Thompson Candies in â€¨Stratford, Ont. Everything in â€¨the place is incredible!" â€¨-- Julia Opie, â€¨via Facebook
5. Anne of Green Gables Chocolates (Charlottetown)
Drawing inspiration from P.E.I.'s most beloved fictional character, Anne of Green Gables Chocolates sells boxes â€¨of specialty chocolates, including Chocolate Sweeties (a delectable old-fashioned brown sugar fudge enrobed in milk chocolate), Anne's Chocolate Caramels, Bosom Buddies and Marilla's Truffles. (Anne fans will appreciate the references!) In addition to the specialty chocolates, Cow Chips -- fresh P.E.I. potato chips covered in rich milk chocolate -- are a must-try. Find them at multiple locations â€¨across the province or order online; the company will ship across Canada.
6. Newfoundland Chocolate Company (St. John's, N.L.)
The Newfoundland Chocolate Company has been handmaking chocolates since 2008. Named for famous Newfoundland landmarks and moments in history, many of the treats feature locally inspired flavours. Top sellers include the Lukey's Boat (white chocolate with Newfoundland blueberries, raspberries and cranberries) and Gros Morne (a dark chocolate with a whipped partridgeberry centre).
7. SOMA Chocolatemaker (Toronto)
Nestled in the heart of Toronto's Distillery District, SOMA is a sweet oasis of chocolate. Sourcing cacao beans from all over the world, the chocolatiers at SOMA hand-sort, roast, conch and mould the chocolate into delightful creations. Some of the most popular chocolates include their eight-year-aged-balsamic truffle and the butter caramel with fleur de sel.
In addition to fantastic chocolates, shoppers will also find handmade chocolate bars, cookies, gelato and other delicious creations at both the Distillery District store and in a newer location on King Street West.
"SOMA has changed everything about the way I look at chocolate!" -- Danielle Young, via Facebook
8. Miss Chocolat (Gatineau, Que.)
Subtle combinations of inspired flavours set the unique chocolate creations of Miss Chocolat apart. Customer favourites include the Riopelle (dark chocolate filled with Riopelle cheese, dark- and milk-chocolate ganache), the Azteque (hot pepper, ginger, cardamom, dark- and milk-chocolate ganache covered in milk chocolate) and the Maki (hazelnut praline, coriander, dark chocolate, candied ginger and maple syrup, all wrapped up in a sheet of nori).
"Chocolates with port wine, lavender, beer, jasmine tea, curry and coconut milk, maple syrup.… OK, gotta go buy some! See what you did?" -- Christine Vasseur, via Facebook
9. Choklat (Calgary)
At Choklat, life is not like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. Instead, you know exactly what you're going to get -- because you get to create exactly what you want. Each confection begins with chocolate made in-house from carefully selected cacao beans grown in single plantations all over the world. Customers select fillings, the type of chocolate (milk, dark or white), and additions, such as nuts or candies, to their exact specifications; the chocolate is then hand-made to order.
If you're in Calgary, visit the store to create your own sweet treat, or order online -- they'll ship your delicious creations across the country.
"I go to Choklat in Calgary. They buy the beans and roast them themselves, one of the few places that do. The truffles are hand-dipped and made to order, so delicious!" -- Claire Hannaford, via Facebook
|This story was originally titled "Canada's Best Chocolates" in the February 2013 issue. |
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