There’s a reason why chocolate is at the top of most people’s lists as their all time favourite luxury. It’s sweet, decadent and makes any moment seem like a celebration. This Valentines Day, think about giving the gift of locally made, small batch chocolates. Ones that celebrate the people, tastes and places of Ontario. All of these chocolatiers take a slightly different approach, but each celebrates chocolate by incorporating uniquely Ontario ingredients. Raw, dark, unsweetened, milk or even white chocolate are paired with herbs, dairy fruit and nuts before being dipped, bejeweled or sprayed. They decorate shelves in tiny towns and big cities, luring in chocolate fanatics from across the province.
Lavendar Milk Caramels
Made with Oxford County dairy and infused with the herby splendour of dried Ontario lavender, these little morsels are made by hand in the tiny town of Ingersoll. Stop by while you touring The Cheese Trail and make sure to grab one of their loose leaf teas to go.
Honey and Black Pepper Truffles
Chocolate Barr’s, Stratford
Made with Perth County honey and a hefty addition of black pepper, these truffles are one of dozen’s available at the famed Stratford chocolate shop that’s famous for their ‘Minties’. Stop buy for a box before exploring the Stratford Chocolate Trail.
Chocosol Traders, Toronto
Back for a limited time, this super popular sustainable-source chocolate is made with local maple sugar, Ontario grown hemp seeds and just a hint of salt. Their chocolates are all free of dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, preservatives or additives — and no surprise, are also vegan.
Maple Butter Truffles
Delight Chocolates, Toronto
Milk Chocolate paired with Dark Amber Maple Syrup from Merrlynd Organic Farm in Lakefield. It’s sweet, earthy, and perfect. If maple is not your jam, try an icewine truffle made with Niagara’s Frog Pond Winery icewine and paired with 70% dark chocolate; then garnished with gold. All their chocolates are made with local organic eggs and dairy, so you can feel good about (over) indulging too!
Batch 9 SOMA Stratus Bar
Stratus Wines + SOMA Chocolatier
What happens when you take an oak barrel partially filled with cells and a batch of Nacional cacao from Ecuador? The SOMA Stratus Bar. Roasted nibs are added to the barrel and left to sit for 3 months. The result is an elegant 70% SOMA chocolate bar with the unique Niagara notes of Stratus Wine.
Odile Chocolat, Toronto
Odile’s line of Canadiana truffles are infused with local treasures like wild roses, trumpet mushrooms, icewine, raspberry vinegar and black walnuts from Forbes Wild Foods. Each one is a unique expression of somewhere in Canada — including the forests of Ontario.
Not into the sweet stuff? We get it. That’s why we’re also going to let you in on a secret. Beer makes a great gift — keep it festive by popping a bottle (or two!) of Blood Brothers Guilty Remnant White Chocolate Stout. That’s right — white chocolate stout. It’s brewed with organic spent cocoa husks from Toronto chocolate maker SOMA and a special batch of cold brew coffee from Sam James Coffee Bar. Bottle shop only — follow the sign that says beer.
And while Valentines Day may be just one day of the year, we hope you’ll keep these fun, locally infused options in mind all year long!