This is a topic so controversial that I’m reluctant to even bring it up: Vancouver’s best chocolate.
Earlier in the week, a great article in the Vancouver Sun profiled a chocolatier at Rogers’, one of the city’s venerable old chocolate shops. That got me thinking about the other great chocolate makers in the city, both the good ol’ boys and the new kids on the block.
What do you think? Who makes Vancouver’s best chocolate? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
To get things started, I’ve come up with a list with some of Vancouver’s more preeminent chocolate makers.
The longevity title definitely goes to Rogers’, which has been around since 1885 and has seven locations in British Columbia. Known for its delicious Victoria Creams (sweet centers smothered in bittersweet chocolate), among other delights, Rogers’ has Vancouver locations on Granville Island and in Gastown.
Then there’s the wildly successful Purdy’s, which was founded in 1907 and now has 59 locations across Canada. Purdy’s is perhaps most famous for its truffle-filled Hedgehogs and Sweet Georgia Browns (salted pecans topped with caramel and chocolate). There are Purdy’s throughout Vancouver, including downtown at the Pacific Centre mall
Another local institution headquartered out in Burnaby is Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, which makes all of its candies with Callebaut chocolate imported from Belgium. Among Charlie’s more exotic creations are ice wine truffles and chocolate-coated ginger.
Recently, several high-end gourmet chocolatiers have opened up shop. With a booth in Granville Island Public Market, ChocolaTas serves handmade designer chocolates by maitre chocolatier Wim Tas, who immigrated from Belgium in 2002. Chocolates feature unique, tea-based ganache fillings: Earl Grey, Rooibos, Kyoto cherry rose and green tea. They also highlight delicacies like Tuscan hazelnuts, Iranian pistachios, Provençal orange peel and Champagne.
The darling of the North Shore and Kitsilano, Thomas Haas (who hails auspiciously from Germany’s Black Forest region) was recently voted one of the top 10 chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional. His handcrafted lineup includes chocolates infused with exotic spices and paired with fresh fruits, truffles and the irresistible Chocolate Sparkle Cookie, as well as cakes and other confections.
Those are just a few examples of the great chocolate being made in Vancouver. Please share your favorites and add to the list by leaving a comment below.