AN EXHILARATING, ENTHUSIASTIC, THRILLING AND ENERGIZING CHOCOBLOGMASS
Hello my little chocolate monsters and graceful chocolate ladybugs. I know, I know, where have I been? You would not even believe me if I told you therefore, I will spare you the details. Let’s just say that my life has been unpredictable, sad, sorrowful, furious, stunned, painstaking, physically dreadful, finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel to the finish line, suspenseful, content, and lastly, just happy to be here, a place I call home. I am finally writing on this blog that I absolutely adore. I love to present facts, information, and delightful tasting to the wonderful people who take the time to read it. I want to say a big, huge, enormous, gigantic thank you to all who are still here. Please know that my blog is very important to me, and there were many times that I did want to sit down and share a review or two with you however, my time and circumstances just did not permit it. I now decided to do a huge comeback with something completely different. It is Chocoblogmass!!! Regardless if you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hinduism, Jehovah Witnesses etc., my daily testing of 8 Advent Calendars will be all about the chocolate itself. I though that this would be a great way to not only test fun and delicious chocolates everyday (oh yes) for the next 24 Days of December, but to also compare their taste, smell, colour, and all the other fun things associated with chocolate. The writing will be done daily; the chocolates will be evaluated and judged side by side. I am so looking forward to this, and am in complete ecstatic mode.
Below are the lucky 8 Advent Calendars that I have carefully chosen. If some descriptions have more details presented than others, please excuse the company’s lack of information on their website or in general. I am assuming that the chocolate will speak, in other words, Choco will do the talk!
Let’s begin this amazing journey together. You are stuck with me now for the next 24 days. Enjoy the ride! OHHHHHHHHHHH, horrrrayyyyyy!!!
Lady Godiva and her husband Lord Leofric lived in Conventry, England. Lord Leofric was a powerful ruler who was uncaring to the citizens of his kingdom. Lady Godiva on the other hand was a kind and generous individual who had dedicated her whole life to the impoverished and troubled individuals. When Lord Leofric imposed a heavy tax upon his people, Lady Godiva protested. In response, Lord Leofric put a challenge in place that stated if his wife rode naked through the streets, the taxation would be lifted. Lady Godiva, the modest and shy woman that she was, immediately agreed as this would help her townspeople. On the morning of the event, Lady Godiva strolled around wrapped in nothing except for her gorgeous locks. The generous gesture that she agreed upon led to more generosity from the townspeople. They all decided to close their shutters to preserve Lady Godiva’s modesty. People were loud, but not a single glance fell upon Lady Godiva’s naked being. As she completed the unclothed dare, a huge cheer fulfilled the town. Her bravery had won the hearts of all people. As promised, her husband Lord Leofric eased his taxation tariff on the poor, and Lady Godiva’s place in history was immortalized. One hundred years later, in 1926, Godiva founder and master chocolatier Joseph Draps created a new line of Belgium chocolates that had a rich taste, premium quality, and a unique style. He wanted his company to be known for values of balance, benevolence, and boldness, just like Lady Godiva. The choice was clear for Draps to name the establishment Godiva. In 1968, Godiva was appointed the official chocolatier to the Royal Court of Belgium. In 1972, Godiva opened international boutiques in New York’s City Fifth Avenue, and the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo. By 2016, Godiva has expanded to over 600 owned Boutiques in over 100 countries. Godiva’s reputation for excellence in chocolate can be traced back to their beginnings in Belgium. Their attention to detail, and immaculate quality is what attracts many loyal customers to come back for more.
Roger’s story began in 1885, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, when the son of a Massachusetts farmer, Charles “Candy” Rogers established a “green grocery” on the west side of Government Street, across from the place he would later develop into what is known today as the heritage store. In his business, Charles sold fruits, vegetables, and chocolates that were imported from San Francisco. Soon thereafter, Charles went on to marry a local girl by the name of Leah Morrison, and the two of them together continued to run the grocery store. Tourists, and locals increasingly began to purchase their chocolates. The only problem was that Charles could not stock them fast enough. He therefore made a life-changing decision to begin making the actual chocolate himself. His very first and original creation, the Victoria Cream, quickly became a wondrous win. Charles then knew, and was determined to begin his career as Canada’s first chocolatier. While he practiced, and developed his skill over a steamy cauldron in the backroom, his wife Leah worked long hours managing the retail front store. Things blossomed for two. Unfortunately, Charles Rogers passed away in 1927, at the age of 73, but by this time, his chocolates already had the reputation of divineness that attracted all sorts of visitors from around the globe. Soon after her husband’s death, Leah sold the chocolate business, and focused her efforts to support her church, and the less fortunate individuals in her community. Leah passed away in 1952 at the age of 88. To this day, Rogers’ Chocolates remains privately owned, and is operated locally, in Canada, by a Canadian family that takes great care, and pride in the legacy of Charles and Leah. Rogers Chocolates has 10 retail stores in British Columbia, and many wholesale partners across Canada. Roges’ Chocolates strives for perfection, and they remain committed to the old world and legacy of Charles and Leah Rogers in everything that they do. Many of Rogers’ employees have been with the company for over 25 years. That certainly says something!
Rogers’ Chocolates is very much involved in numerous of non-profit organizations, local charities, and fundraising events. They also are committed to support their farmers through sustainable cocoa growing practices, and fair pricing policies. On March 22, 2016, Rogers began to use 100% Fair Trade Certified Cocoa in all their products that they sell. To this day, they are 98% close to their achievement. Through fair cocoa pricing, farmers are paid generously. Rogers’ Chocolates also invests in education for children, and protection of the environment.
This happens to be purely a Canadian Chocolatier Company whose founder is no other than Richard Carmon Purdy. He began to sell his homemade chocolates in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada. The year was 1907. What a wonderful time! Today, Purdy’s has grown, and holds shops across the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Purdy’s is known for as their website states for “fantastic chocolates, fantastic service, and fantastic people.” The company sources premium-quality ingredients from around the world, and makes great attempts to choose local options whenever the opportunity arises. All of their milk, creams, and butter are delivered from BC dairy farms, and most of their sugar used also comes from neighbouring sugar suppliers. I like this next sentence as it makes me feel at ease that Purdy’s really does care for the quality of their chocolates, “Purdy’s creations have a short shelf life – and we like it that way.” This means that most of everything that they sell is quite fresh. If selloff is not complete according to their timeline, then the chocolates are no longer presented and sold as being fresh. Purdy’s chocolates cannot be located at any grocery stores mainly due to their short shelf life. All of their chocolates are made in small batches without any preservatives. Awesome! Their cocoa comes from farmers who are well provided for. “It’s a choice we’ve made because it’s the right choice to make.” Nice! Purdy’s has green in mind meaning that they have saved over 1000 tress since 2008, and have cut their waste to landfill in half over the last four years. Purdy’s has also reduced their electricity consumption as well as greenhouse emissions and gas consumption. I am now truly impressed. Way to go Purdy’s!!! To top it off, Purdy’s Chocolatier was named 2016 Best Employer in Canada – Platinum Level. Purdy’s is experimental with their recipes. They come across over 100 recipes each year but less than 10 make it in production. Someone is a picky choco nut!
Purdy’s supports Sustainable Living, Sustainable Farms, and Sustainable Cocoa. This translates to them supporting the communities where their farmer partners, and families live in terms of infrastructure, medical care, and children’s education. Purdy’s uses only 100% sustainable cocoa.
LÄDERACH CHOCOLATIER SUISSE
The company was founded in 1962 by Rudolf Laderach in Glarus, Switzerland. In 1970, Rudolf Läderach Jr. invented, and patented his revolutionary process to manufacture thin-walled hollow balls for truffles. Läderach’s philosophy has always been utmost quality, and aims to deliver the freshest chocolates possible while at the same time, practices very strict hygiene controls. Their employees are perceived as an important asset within the company, and are treated with respect, dignity, and without prejudice.
Daniel Chocolates was founded by Daniel Poncelet (go figure) about 25 years ago. He was born and fully raised in Belgium. Chocolate was always a part of Daniel’s diet, even as a child. As he grew up, he began to have a great appreciation for the art of making chocolates and experimented, without compromise, to yield the finest ingredients that adhered to purity. Daniel Chocolates uses 100% natural ingredients – preservative free, no artificial colorings and flavors, no hydrogenated, vegetable, and tropical fats. Most of Daniel’s chocolates are shell-molded as it is the traditional process practiced in Belgium. Although this kind of process is lengthy, Daniel does not want to forgo taste, quality, and appeal.
Kinder is part of the Ferrero SpA Italian Manufacturer Enterprise who are still striving strong today, and continuing to make branded chocolate, and confectionery products worldwide. Ferrero is the third biggest chocolate producer, and confectionery company in the world. Kinder is one of the products produced by Ferrero.
The word Kinder is “children” in German, where the company was initially founded in 1967. One year later, in 1968, it was sold to Italy. Kinder’s has its own line of products, and they include Kinder Surprise, Kinder Joy, Kinder Chocolate, Kinder Happy Hippo, Kinder Maxi, Kinder Duplo, Kinder Country, Kinder Delice, and Kinder Bueno.
On ethical grounds, Kinder supports the protection of human dignity and respect for human rights. They aid in abolition of the exploitation of child and forced labour. Kinder works to avoid any form of discrimination within their employment practices in all the companies of their group, and this commences from initial moment of hiring. They guarantee freedom for their employees to belong to trade Unions. The Ferrero group protects human health, and environment which are both at the core of their operational practices. Their facilities are managed through the use of sustainable resources such as water, energy, raw, and other materials, including renewable resources. They strive to reduce their environmental footprints by decreasing emissions, eliminating wastes, and managing waste products that is both safe and ethical to the animals and the planet. Kinder states that they use the highest quality raw materials as much as possible that are sourced at a strict moral code regarding their origin, harvesting, and manufacturing. Kinder’s main focus is on subjects such as nutrition, physical activity, and creation of high quality products.
In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt revolutionized chocolate making with their ‘Conching’ method – which is the intense mixing of heated liquid chocolate to create a silky-smooth Lindt Chocolate texture. Rodolphe Lindt is the son of a Berenese whose daily duties as a pharmacist were a far cry from his son’s dreams of chocolates. In 1879, chocolate was extremely hard to process and even harder to eat. People had to literally chew it. Softness just did not exist as hard as it is to believe. Rodolphe Lindt was a confectioner, epicurean, and bon vivant whose desire was to create chocolate that was not rigid, and at the same time, pleasing to the pallet. He purchased an old factory, all with antiquated machines. Initially, his father Berenese was a bit surprised, but did not discourage his son Rodolphe who quickly began to experiment. He spent endless days and nights testing and conducting only to conclude that nothing he did worked. On the upside: a white layer began to form on the chocolate mass. It was Rodolphe’s brother, Auguste, also a pharmacist just like his father, who analyzed the white coating, and quickly realized that this is crystallized fat. They thought that this could mean something. They continued to test well into the nights. More cocoa beans, cooking with more cocoa butter, would this make the difference.? Nobody had experimented or done this prior to. Rodolphe worked on the recipe through many trials and errors, but no matter what or how he did it, the results were just not satisfactory. One Friday evening, Rodolphe Lindt hissed as one of the “Jeunesse doree” left the factory without having finished his work, and even more importantly, without having switched off the machines. Was this intentional, or did the employee just forget? I guess we will never know, but the machine continued to run, and run through the whole weekend. When Rudolphe Lindt entered his factory on the following Monday morning, he was initially shocked. What he found stirring in the tank was anything but hard, and instead, a burnt chocolate mass. It shone, smelled divine, and when he took a big taste, Rodolphe was the first person to finally experience how chocolate melted in the mouth. He was in awe. Nobody up until then knew truly how the chocolate became that smooth, but one thing that they were aware of was that the stirring for hours, even days and nights, is a very important component to what he called “the conching process.”
For almost 150 years, which takes us through to today, chocolate manufacturers all over the world have tried to discover the secret behind the Lindt family recipe. Nobody has come even remotely close to duplicate it. The melt-in-the-mouth chocolate from Rudolphe Lindt has remined a symbol for all chocolatiers. Lindt Maitres Chocolatiers selects, and process only the most premium ingredients from world renowned growing regions. To maintain the delicious aroma, nuts are roasted in-house, and freshly worked into the chocolate. Lindt carefully selects only high-quality cocoa beans, and grinds them to extreme fine which in turn makes the chocolate incredibly soft for melting. Lindt is also engaged in helping pioneering projects such as farming programs, worldwide water projects, and lastly education. They make great attempts to reduce their transport costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. Lindt also attempts, whenever possible, to purchase ingredients near to their productions sites so that any fault in quality can be locally traced back.
SINFULLY THE BEST
Sinfully The Best is a sole location in the heart of Steveston, British Columbia, Canada. Unfortunately, the company has not been diligent with providing any information on their websites in terms of company history, harvesting, ingredients, philosophy etc. I do though, must mention from experience, while of course visiting the shop, that they not only have exquisite chocolates that are delicious, and decadent, but their chocolate carving is absolutely perfect. I am always in complete awe as to the gifted crafters that they have managed to obtain. Something must be done right at Sinfully The Best. To top it all off, whenever you visit the shop, you are greeted by a smiley individual with the friendliest demeanour, holding a tray, and offering a fully sized chocolate mousse cup. That is right, you heard me, not a mini size or a half size. This is a full serving of goodness. How do they do it??? It gets even better; you pick the flavour! Oh yeah, now we are talking’! Perhaps one day while surfing the net, and accidentally (hmmm) ending up on their site, I will finally find fully informative, and updated history and material on this gorgeous hidden little shop, just around the corner! A neighbour’s favourite.
Now that the introduction has taken place, let the games begin, good times roll, however way your heart flutters. On your mark, get set, GO!
My name is Soriah and I am an enormous lover of fine chocolates. I enjoy strolling through charming towns and by chance, finding a little, delightful chocolate gem hidden in the corner, offering bon bons that are ready to be just devoured.