Feature photo credit: Zimt Artisan Chocolates via http://seandavidphotography.com
We’re already more than a week into February and what with the excitement of getting geared up for BC’s first Family Day and Chinese New Year, we’ve let the fact that Valentine’s Day is in 2 sleeps, slip away from us. If you’re looking for a last minute treat for your sweetheart (or yourself), we’ve found some tasty choices in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region.
CocoaNymph Chocolates | photo credit: Yelp.com via Flickr
CocoaNymph Chocolates- 2 locations in Vancouver (4 West 7th Avenue & 3739 West 10th Avenue)
Flavours like gin, hibiscus and black pepper, or coconut milk and dark chocolate, or White chocolate rose petal ganache in dark chocolate rose ganache tell us that the chocolate at Cocoanymph is something special. With 2 locations, NymphWest and NymphEast, CocoaNymph’s owner & creator Rachel Sawatzky takes the basic chocolate truffle to a whole other level. While you’re choosing your flavours, be sure to enjoy a mug of decadent drinking chocolate. The Hot Chocolate Festival is on for 2 more days and CocoaNymph is wowing with “The Noah”, a unique balsamic drinking chocolate topped with housemade cherry marshmallows!
Zimt Artisan Chocolates - North Vancouver
If it’s important to you that your chocolate is created in an ethical manner than you’ll want to look for Zimt Artisan Chocolates. Fair trade, organic, vegan, raw, and sustainable, Zimt chocolate bars, created on Vancouver’s North Shore, can be found at specialty retailers around the region. Mouthwatering flavours include Chocolate Coconut Crisp, Salt of the Earth or Sugar & Spice. And if you’re interested in learning more about the “food of the gods”, Zimt offers chocolate making classes and is holding a special Valentines Class on February 13 that still has room. Class participants will enjoy: hot cacoa nib tea, Learning a bit of chocolate history and focusing on the present – raw cacao, tasting testing a variety of Zimt chocolate, learning the connection between love and chocolate, and will get to take a miniature chocolate ganache cake to take home.
photo credit: Cocoa West Chocolatier
Cocoa West Chocolatier – Bowen Island
Tucked away on beautiful Bowen Island, just a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, lucky chocolate lovers will find Cocoa West Chocolatier. Home to a delightful chocolate café and the only “bed and organic chocolate” retreat on Bowen Island, Cocoa West’s owners create hand-made chocolates and truffles using certified organic and locally sourced ingredients. The shop (and suite) is just a 10 minute walk up the hill from the ferry terminal … ask any local and they’ll tell you exactly how to get there … or just look for the trail up the hill and it will lead you right there! If it’s a chilly day, wrap your hands around a mug of Poblano hot chocolate … made from actual chocolate shavings. And be sure to pick up a box of organic truffles – the small box has six of their most popular truffles and a little chocolate starfish as a special bonus.
La Petite Souris – Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast
Tucked away in Gibsons on the spectacular Sunshine Coast we find La Petite Souris. This inspiring little shop is packed with big flavours. Shop owner, and chocolate creator, Amber Stoby uses the best cocoa from around the world and pairs it, whenever possible, with locally sourced ingredients. A customer favourite, and often in limited demand, is the Scarlet bar from the “Chocolate Garden” line of bars. The Scarlet is a tasty combination of dark and bittersweet chocolate and dried BC raspberries. In the words of La Petite Souris, “We take the deep, red fruit notes of Madagascar cacao and blend it with the tantalizing flavor of late summer in British Columbia.” A taste of late summer in the middle of winter? Sounds heavenly!
Euphoria Chocolates - Fort Langley
The charming community of Fort Langley is home to the delightful Euphoria Chocolates. A treat for the chocolate lover and true connoisseurs, the chocolates at Euphoria are all handmade with real butter, cream and Belgian chocolate. Handcrafted in the traditional style, all of the truffles are hand rolled and dipped by Angela, owner and resident chocolatier. With sixteen types of truffles, plus seasonal varieties we guarantee that there will be something to tempt all chocolate lovers. Feeling adventurous? Try a pumpkin spice or Aztec truffle.
photo credit: Xocolatl Chocolate Creations, Squamish
Xocolatl Chocolate Creations – Squamish
A regular destination for Squamish locals, Xocolatl Chocolate Creations is building a reputation for exquisitely crafted chocolates. Made from Callebaut Belgian chocolate, each confection contains the purest, most natural ingredients to guarantee the highest quality possible. Staff are extremely helpful and we would highly recommend that you go with their recommendations! Be sure to try the raspberry truffles or the chocolate heart popsicles!
Lindt Outlet Boutique – New Westminster
When it comes to chocolate in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains we are surrounded by heavy hitters, but probably one of the most recognizable names in chocolate is Lindt. And we discovered, to our delight, that the city of New Westminster is home to a Lindt Outlet Boutique! Located in Queensborough Landing, the Lindt outlet offers decadent Swiss chocolate at reasonable prices. I think I hear a crème brulee truffle calling my name … tiny pieces of crunch caramel in a milk chocolate cup. Yum!
Check out InsideVancouver.ca for more awesome Vancouver chocolate shops and chocolatiers!