Calgarians have a long-running appreciation for good quality chocolate, with an appetite for well-crafted bars, nibs and truffles that we like to give, bake with and nibble after dinner. The city is like a box of chocolates – with this hand-picked selection of local chocolatiers, you might not know what you’re going to get – but you’ll know the getting’s good.
Recently voted the #1 Chocolate Maker in Canada, Choklat imports raw cacao beans from around the world, which are used to produce bars of 48%, 70% and 80% chocolate, then formed into hefty made-to-order truffles. You choose the chocolate, filling and coating. There are almost a thousand combinations with ingredients like fresh fruit, liqueurs, nuts, spices and mint.
In a small, charming shop of the sort you might to expect to see in the movie Chocolat, chocolatier Debra Fleck and her husband John craft tiny works of chocolate art by hand – think wee pyramids filled with Tahitian vanilla, hearts bursting with passion fruit puree and flat-topped chocolates with images made of edible ink printed on sheets of cocoa butter. Try the Ice Wine, topped with the Calgary skyline.
Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut
Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut has been a sweet institution since the first store opened here in 1983. Now owned by Cococo Chocolatiers, many of the chocolates produced are the same ones that made Callebaut famous in the eighties. Try the classic hazelnut cup. And be sure to check out their line of baking products.
Having operated a candy factory here since 1909, Olivier’s is Calgary’s version of Willy Wonka. The Inglewood shop makes their own chocolate hedgehogs, truffles, barks, caramels and beavertails – thick salted pretzels dipped in caramel and chocolate. Many are made using the original recipes created over a century ago.
After 27 years running his own chocolaterie, Bernard Callebaut reinvented himself as Papa Chocolat and now Master Chocolat. He crafts a new, smaller line of high-quality chocolates filled with unique, hand-picked ingredients. Try the Winston (as in Churchill) – a dried grape marinated in fine malt whiskey, then wrapped in semi-sweet ganache and tucked into a shell. One of the most popular, and a real show stopper, is La Mer - a soft salted caramel in either semi-sweet or milk chocolate. Find them at the Calgary Farmer's Market.
After seven years in Ontario wine country, chocolatier Sue Burgess reinvented her chocolate company in Calgary. She now crafts small batches of truffles, barks and filled chocolates right in her kiosk at the Market on Macleod. Wicked Chocolate is best known for chocolate shots – perfectly round balls filled with pure maple syrup, liqueur or ice cider. Pop them in whole - they'll more than melt in your mouth!