Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday by Exploring the Country's Newest Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers: Starting with Kasama Chocolate

Canada's 150th birthday is fast approaching! So let's celebrate by featuring some new Canadian chocolate makers. I've been stocking up lately on chocolate from all across this great country and I want to tell you about each and every new chocolate maker.

If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that I try to stay updated on all the newest bean-to-bar chocolate makers around the globe and here at home in North America. I keep lists on the blog (US, UK, CAD), so you can keep up-to-date as well.  And I've been watching the list of Canadian chocolate makers rapidly grow over the last five years. Most recently, many more opened their doors (or kitchens, as the case may be, as not many craft chocolate makers have actual store-fronts). So we'll start from the West and work our way East. Stay tuned each day, I intend to bring you a Canadian chocolate maker feature (along with a few other blog posts thrown into the mix about chocolate makers, equipment, and cocoa beans from around the world).

We'll start today with those super-cool West-coasters at Kasama Chocolate...

Kasama Chocolate (East Vancouver):




A partnership between four people: Dom, Oliver, Vincent and Stefan, which began when Vincent inherited a small piece of land in the Philippines. Vincent found cacao growing on the property, and when he came back to Canada, he told his friends about it. They joked that on the next visit, he should bring some back and they would make chocolate from it. A month later, he did just that. And they have been making chocolate ever since.

Kasama Chocolate and I did a little switch-a-roo this Spring, when we exchanged our bean-to-bar chocolate across the country. They sent me a few of their bars to taste, and at the same time, I sent them a few of mine (check out Kasama's post on Instagram and mine). The fun part was tasting each other's Honduras bar, since we both use the same cocoa beans for that one. And I have to say, I quite like the taste of Kasama's. For obvious reasons since we use the same beans, but also because of that caramelized almond taste and aroma, as well as a fruitiness that is hard to find words to explain. It is truly one of my favourite beans - not only to taste in chocolate form, but also to work with. The bean tastes amazing on its own, and the shells release easily.

The star of Kasama's show was the Costa Rica bar. It was fruity, bold, acidic and bright in flavour. Sort of citrus, sort of orange/tangerine, sort of berry - like a bold smoothie of flavours with some cocoa nibs thrown in for that cacao flavour. I loved this chocolate bar.


Kasama also makes a 55% goat's milk. I shared it with a friend, and was a little sad to let it go without trying it first. So you'll have to taste it for yourself if you are curious.  Kasama Chocolate is sold at farmer's markets throughout the Vancouver area, including Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market, as well as Riley Park Farmer's Market all summer long.

Kasama is a home-based business for the time being (there is talk of finding an appropriate space for their business). They make bean-to-bar chocolate bars and bean-to-truffle confections. Visit www.kasamachocolate.com for more information.

Next up will be: McGuire Chocolate (Calgary).

After that, watch for Aschenti Cocoa (Winnipeg).

And then a whole slew of chocolate makers from Quebec, as well as a newbie on the East Coast.

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