I love spending a Saturday immersed in culture along King West and Queen West…and stuffing my face with chocolates and sweets! Tasty Tours’ Toronto has a three hour guided walk to six chocolate shops. Along the way, you learn about the origins, history, production and benefits of chocolate – while sampling some of the best chocolate in Toronto. Here’s a snapshot of the chocolate tour:
Stop #1: Soma Chocolatemaker
The first stop is 443 King St. West – aka heaven on earth. Inhale the scent of chocolate upon entering Soma, one of the few artisan chocolate-makers that makes small batches directly from the cacao bean. The staff roast, refine and conch organic and fair trade cocoa beans from places like the Caribbean, South America, Madagascar.With a menu of truffles, there’s something for everyone. Soma truffles are preservative-free, made with fresh cream and butter and take up to three days to complete. Feeling too lethargic to chew? A shot of Mayan hot chocolate will glide down your throat like lava.
Stop #2: Forno Cultura
Loosen your belt and feast on freshly baked cakes, cookies, and other sweets at Forno Cultura. Italian baker Andrea Mastrandrea makes everything fresh at this upscale grocery store. $2.00 will buy you a slice of Gianduia cake (above) – a blissful blend of spongy cake and hazelnut.
Stop #3: Delight Handmade Organic Chocolate
Nestled near Trinity Bellwoods Park, Delight is a hidden treasure –a tiny sweets shop specializing in organic, fair trade treats. Try the Ice Wine truffle (above) for something boozy. (Editor’s Note: Delight has since moved to the Junction area of Toronto)
Stop #4: Nadège
Everyone is stuffed full of chocolate by the time the tour reaches Nadège – a patisserie owned by a fourth generation pastry chef from France. But the array of French biscuits, ice cream, croissants, cakes and truffles summoned my appetite. And remember pop-rockets from Grade five? Nadège had the ingenuity to add the explosive candy to dark chocolate.
Stop #5: Sanko
Before the tour, you may not have thought this Japanese grocery store housed some unique and delicious chocolate. But Sanko introduces us to the world of Green Tea Kit Kats imported from Japan. You’ll also learn about Pocky – a biscuit dipped in chocolate that’s super popular in Japan.
Stop #6 – Chococrepe
The tour wraps up at Chococrepe, a chilled-out creperie that brings a bit of Montreal to Toronto with its menu of savoury and sweet crepes. The banana strawberry crepe sprinkled with Valrhona chocolate stands out, and the hot chocolate is made with real melted chocolate. Finish off the “meal” with an array of dark, white and milk chocolates.
HOW TO BOOK:
Chocolate is the answer. Who cares about the question!
The writer was a guest of Tasty Tours. The company did not review or approve this article.