Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Great Canadian Maple and Chocolate Combinations

We Canadians know our maple.  We have the maple leaf on our flag, our largest city has an NHL hockey team by the name, and Wikipedia calls it the "national symbol of Canada", claiming the maple tree was once called "the king of our forest" (ref).  So naturally, we consider the maple tree's syrup to be our national (and natural) sweetener. 

And since I am a chocolate lover who also happens to be Canadian, I feel it is my job to share information on all great chocolate bars with real Canadian maple. Today I have two kinds that I recently discovered, and of course they both come from the province of Quebec, which some may consider the maple capital our country.

Theobroma Chocolat makes organic chocolate in uniquely packaged 35 gram chocolate bars. I have tasted nearly every one of their fantastic flavours (raspberry - yum! banana, pineapple and more), but just a few days ago, I came across their 'Sweet Maple Butter' chocolate bar.  This bar offers about five or six breakable pieces of 60% dark chocolate with a small dollop of maple butter in the centre of each piece.  The shell is thick with dark chocolate and the sweetness of the maple butter comes as a surprise.  However, the amount of maple butter is just small enough to not be overpowering.  In fact, I think it is just the right amount to provide the full maple flavour without it being too sweet.

What I like about this chocolate is that there are only five ingredients (cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar cane, maple butter, and soy lecithin) which are natural and all organic, except for the soya lecithin.  There is no added vanilla and there are no artificial flavours or colours.

The other maple chocolate bar is made by Olivia Chocolat.  This bean-to-bar artisan chocolate maker has a selection of fine chocolate bars with maple, including "a touch of maple" chocolate bar and a touch of maple "with maple sugar flakes" chocolate bar.  Also, they recently launched a raw chocolate bar line which includes a very bitter 92% chocolate bar that is partially sweetened with maple sugar. I have tasted this one; it is thin and delicate, and offers a nice hint of maple flavour.  So if you can handle a very dark chocolate in the 90% range, I highly recommend Olivia's 92% Maple Raw chocolate bar (order here).

Both chocolate bars are Gluten-free.  Check out their websites for more information on these products:
www.theobromachocolat.com/
www.oliviachocolatiers.com

If you know of any great Canadian maple and chocolate combinations, feel free to add them to the Comments below!

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