CHOCOLATE IS HAVING ITS DAY. Dark is best, and pure is super-best and a square (or three) of the dark pure stuff every day means you’ll live long and prosper.
Or at least you’ll live what you’ll live but you’ll live it much happier.
There’s a new — to me — chocolate shop on Wellington West. I popped in to A Thing for Chocolate (such a clever name) for breakfast the other day. Had the bacon and egg made-to-order crepe, which was really very nice, though I’d have preferred it be served with fruit than greens (drizzled with what tasted like bottled balsamic), it being morning and all. But what really turned my crank was the stuff on the end of the spoon I was handed.
“Try this,” the charmer holding the handle said. The first taste was of rich, clean, creamy chocolate. And then the hazelnut hit me and my spirits instantly dropped, only to be lifted again once the purity of flavour sank in.
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of gianduja. Which does, I agree, make me a bit of a freak, but there you go. I like chocolate. I like hazelnuts, I just don’t like them together. Too many cheap gianduja fillings perhaps, with added sugar and emulsifiers and so forth, are to blame, but man oh man, I liked this stuff — really liked this stuff — which is, I believe, a tribute to its quality. It was fresh, pure, and so clean.
Chocolatier Omar Fares uses only quality organic hazelnuts and toasts them until they’re golden and fragrant. There’s a bit of cream in there, as well as chocolate and puréed nuts, so don’t forget to keep it in the fridge. Once mixed, the smooth brown goo is jarred with a fetching green rubber ringed lid. So it won’t get lost in the fridge. My jar has a small spoon imbedded in it. To facilitate the quest to live long and prosper.
Gianduja spread, $8.99; breakfast special $6.99
A Thing for Chocolate, 1626 Wellington St. W., 613-695-3533