Friday, June 30, 2017

New Canadian Chocolate Maker Sweeping the Competition: Qantu Chocolate takes home two GOLD Awards

Qantu Cacao et Chocolat has just leapt on to the international chocolate scene in an incredible way. They are very new chocolate makers, having done their firsts tests on Peruvian cocoa beans just last August, and now they have just won TWO GOLD Academy of Chocolate Awards.


Qantu owners and chocolate makers, Elfi and Maxime, are passionate about Peruvian cacao (Efi is from Peru) and making great chocolate from those beans. Their goal is to develop a win-win partnership with the cocoa farmers from whom they purchase their beans in Peru. Elfi explained in an e-mail to me that 'Qantu' is "the name of the national flower of Peru and Bolivia as well as being a symbol of unity among peoples", showing their full commitment to Peru, its people, and bettering Peruvian cocoa farmers' lives.

I received three of Qantu's chocolate bars from Karine at Miss Choco while I was in Grenada (yes, the chocolate travelled from Montreal, to Grenada, and then back to Ontario before being tasted by me). The Chuncho 100% bar was a little melted, but I've had enough experience with overheated chocolate that I can see past the cocoa butter bloom and taste its true origins. And for a 100% chocolate - absolutely unsweetened - I can say this chocolate is good. It is a little floral and perhaps fruity, with low acidity and no astringency, and definitely very palatable. There is no 'kick-back' from the bitterness and no shock to the tongue, like many 100% dark chocolates can have. I was impressed immediately with the product.


Even more impressive was the Pérou Gran Blanco 70% dark chocolate bar. This was one of the two Gold winners, and before I learned about their Gold win, I knew it was going to be a chocolate bar that would become famous rather quickly. Really nothing compares to this bean - okay, well a Madagascar chocolate might compare. Qantu's Pérou Gran Blanco is so full of fruity raspberry/blackberry flavours that it almost tastes like raspberries and fruit was added to the chocolate. Plus, the colour is so milk chocolaty (even though no milk chocolate was added) that it makes the entire experience very unique (see the pic below for the light colour). I just loved comparing the shade differences between the two 70% Peru bars made by Qantu. It is such a great example of how cocoa bean origins and types can vary within the same cacao-growing country.


The Pérou Morropón 70% bar was almost equally full of fruit flavours - not quite as strong, but still strong and surprising when tasted. The texture was not quite as creamy as the Gran Blanco, but given the light shade of the Criollo-type beans in the Blanco, there is likely to be more cocoa butter in those beans over the beans used for the Morropón, making the Gran Blanco just a bit creamier.


Where can you buy Qantu Chocolate?

Elfi and Maxime are currently setting up a new workshop (on Rue Notre-Dame Est), which will be ready sometime in August. Visit www.qantuchocolate.com and follow them on Social Media (Instagram: @qantu_chocolat) to stay up-to-date on this opening. In the meantime, you can purchase their chocolate online at:
New packaging will be launched at the Salon of chocolate and cacao in Peru from July 6th to 9th. Stay tuned, I am sure we can expect great things from this chocolate maker!

To read about other new Canadian Chocolate Makers in this Canada 150 series, click the following links:

Part 1: Kasama Chocolate in BC
Part 2: McGuire Chocolate in Alberta
Part 3: Aschenti Chocolate in Winnipeg
Part 4: Qantu Cacao et Chocolat
Part 5 and Beyond: more of Quebec's newest makers and the East Coast
For a full list of Canadian chocolate makers, visit: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2014/01/canadas-growing-bean-to-bar-craft.html.

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