While I’m not exactly a world traveller, I do find myself on occasion having to go to various Canadian and American cities as part of my job, usually for conferences. And when I do, I try to find some unfamiliar local chocolate just to liven up my mundane life. So when I was recently in Ottawa, I headed down to the Byward Market to see what I could dig up.
It was actually a bit on the disappointing side, but that was probably my fault. I didn’t really do much planning ahead so I was just stumbling around blindly hoping to discover an incredible chocolate cache around the next corner. And I didn’t. But eventually I found a little deli with an overcrowded shelf of familiar bars and hidden amongst them was exactly what I was looking for.
Rochef Chocolatier are actually located in Gatineau, Quebec which is just on the other side of the Ottawa river and I must admit that I had never heard of them before. But the combination of 70% chocolate with maple sugar sounded good to me. And it looked good too – I like to see what’s inside and that’s what made me pick this one up.
The chocolate itself is Belgian and very rich thanks to a generous amount of cocoa butter. It tastes more like a 60% and doesn’t have the depth of flavour in terms of the chocolate that I was hoping for. Not a big deal – it just impacts speed of consumption and this was one of those bars which was very easy to munch my way through. Plus I was more interested in that maple sugar which couldn’t have competed with anything too robust. It added some nice crunch to the bar, and inevitable sweetness which plays well with the smooth chocolate. And really, maple is always a good addition to darker chocolate.
All in all, a good bar of Canadian chocolate even if wasn’t a spectacular one. The rest of the Rochef range has some other interesting bits and pieces, so they are now on my list of Canadian companies to keep an eye out for. And next time I head to Ottawa, I do my homework first.