Friday, August 3, 2012

Diving into Chocolate with Tasty Tours in T.O.



During my last week in Toronto I had the fantastic opportunity to attend a local Toronto food tour. Now, this wasn't any food tour, but a chocolate tour! It was held by Toronto's own Tasty Tours. They currently have two types of tours, a chocolate one and a sweets tour. 

The one I participated in was held by Audrey Ooi. Audrey is awesome and I'm sure everyone will enjoy talking to her while she leads you on a chocolate tour around the Trinity-Bellwoods area. Our tour started at the beautiful Alimento on King Street West. Audrey started the tour off by talking about where the word "cacao" came from, the origins of chocolate, complete with pictures and some tastings of cacao. 
Big windows inside Alimento brings in lots of sunlight.
64% dark chocolate Peruvian house blend chocolate from Soma on left
Cacao nibs from Soma on right.
Close up of the Cacao nibs. These ones have been roasted.
Inside of Alimento. There's a cheese counter, deli,
and of course a sweet treats display! 
Assorted Biscotti (hazelnut, chocolate etc..)
First chocolate tasting @ Alimento

Gluten free pistachio, chocolate macaroon and
 Toscano Brown chocolate @ Alimento 

mm..more chocolates, dark cherries & wafers
to taste!
This is some very good chocolate! (60% cacao) Hazelnut
roses by Loacker. You can probably find
them at your local Italian store. If you are in Edmonton, find it at
the Italian Center (only a few boxes left). 
Second stop: Delight- Handmade Organic
Fair Trade Chocolate. 

All their handmade chocolates & truffles on display

Since we were on tour, everyone got a taste of
their choice of gelato (also handmade) and a chocolate.
Of course I had to try their chocolate ice cream.
It was very creamy, not too heavy or sweet.
Must be the natural, organic ingredients in their ice cream.  


I tried their chocolate filled with caramel and smoked sea salt.



Caramel is oozing out! I liked the texture of this chocolate,
and the caramel consistency was nice with the hint of smoked sea salt.
 However, I did find that taking small sips of water in between
bites helped with the overall sweetness of the chocolate.


Audrey, from Tasty Tours inside Nadege. 

Chocolate Bars @ Nadege at their Queen St. West location.
Their chocolate are made at their other store on 1099 Yonge St.


4th stop: Sanko- Japanese Convenience Store. 


Here is a Sakura Maccha Latte with cherry blossom by KitKat! Yes, they
make these! Apparently there are only 3 places in the world
(including this store) that managed to source this particular
flavour! Definitely a limited chocolate. Maybe that's why it tasted
even more delicious. :) 

5th & final stop: Chococrepe. 

Front of chococrepe's store showcasing their gelato and sorbet.
Chocolate tour participants listening intently to Audrey. 
Here is Dewey (one of the owners) passionately describing
how Chococrepe came into existence, how they make their crepes,
and where they source their chocolates.
Nice chandelier at the back of Chococrepe. The mirror helps make
the back of the restaurant look larger and brighter.

Beautiful Presentation!
Left to Right Tasting
  • Dark chocolate: tasted like dark dried berries, and dried fruit.
  • Caramelia: creamy, milk chocolate, with hints of caramel.
  • Ivor: waxy white chocolate
I really enjoyed the dark chocolate, but maybe it's because I'm a fan 
of dark chocolate! 
The middle was a small shot of milk chocolate made at their chocolate 
bar. Dewey also explained that you can't heat the chocolate & milk 
too fast or at too high of a temperature otherwise the taste is often
undesirable.  
Last tasting: Super cute mini crepe topped with
a slice of banana, strawberry, milk chocolate and white chocolate sauce. 

I also brought these delicious goodies home. It also helped that
we got a slight discount! Picture rice crispy-like mini balls that
are dipped into chocolate. Yummy! They also shouldn't melt
in the oven. Will let you know how that goes with my macaron making!

Thanks again to Tasty Tours and Audrey for a great chocolate tour of the Trinity-Bellwoods Park area. I'm certain everyone had a great time! I personally really enjoyed this tour! The allotted time of 3 hours was good as everyone had a chance to explore each store, talk to store managers and taste samples! There is definitely some walking involved, but you go at such a leisurely pace that you have no idea that you just walked several blocks (hint: the walk to Nadege is completely worth it! Their almond croissants & macarons are amazing!). The size of each group is not too big as well; with approximately 10 people per group. This is great as you have the opportunity to bring a significant other, a few friends or, like me go alone and meet some new faces! 

For those of you interested in participating in this tour or their sweets tour, head on over to Tasty Tours for more information - http://www.tastytourstoronto.com/

Alimento Fine Food Emporium
522 King St. W. Toronto, ON.

Tel: (416) 362-0123
www.alimento.ca

Delight Chocolate 
805 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON.
www.delightchocolate.ca

Nadege Patisserie
780 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON.
http://www.nadege-patisserie.com/

Sanko Trading Co. 
Japanese Foods & Gifts
730 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON.
Closed Tuesday
www.toronto-sanko.com

chococrepe
620 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON.
Tel: (416) 855-5601
Closed Mondays
http://dine.to/sites/chococrepe/#home

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