Interactive, Inc. | Denman Island Chocolate
Island Chocolate by Wendy Stewart
My 25-year search
for the perfect chocolate has ended. Along the way, I forced myself
to eat and evaluate chocolate which ranged from Godiva, Bernard
Callebaut, See's, and Roger's, to Ganong's, Hershey's and Lindt...They
were okay. However, determined to taste-test as much chocolate
as humanly possible, three years ago I purchased a bar called Denman
Island Chocolate, mint flavour, sold at a snack kiosk set up at
a writers' festival. I had been eyeing the tempting display of Denman
Island Chocolate throughout the days of the festival, and on my
last day there, felt that I really should try it, in the name of
scientific interest, of course.
As soon as I
was settled on the plane for home and had my first chocolaty bite,
I realized what a dreadful mistake I had made - I had bought only
ONE bar! It was wonderful - rich dark chocolate, melting with velvety
smoothness on my tongue, and blending perfectly with the crisp mint
flavouring - oh, the delicious lingering aftertaste! Frantically
I read the bar wrapping, to see if I could find an address to correspond
with the company. Luckily there was one, and a desperate letter
was sent as soon as I arrived home in Calgary, asking whether it
would be possible to purchase a box of the chocolate bars. I was
thrilled to receive a reply that Denman Island was being sold at
a large health food store in Calgary!
I made an immediate
pilgrimage, stocking up on all flavours, eventually settling on
three favourites - the intensely flavourful mint, the crunchy, rich
toasted hazelnut, and the coffee bean blitzed espresso bar. Naturally,
extensive tasting and re-tasting was necessary to reach this decision.
In the meantime, I had developed a bit of a correspondence with
Ruth and Daniel Terry, the talented creators of Denman Island chocolates,
letting them know how much I loved their product.
summer, when my partner, Keith, and I were making plans to attend
the writers' festival together, we decided it would be logical to
make a slight detour to visit Denman Island and see the actual chocolate
factory (again, as part of scientific investigation into the production
of chocolate...). When we asked the Terrys if this would be possible,
they not only readily agreed, but insisted that we stay the night
at their house! The next morning we had a tour of the "factory",
which is in separate quarters of the house, and learned just how
much expertise is required to temper perfectly the bittersweet dark
chocolate which is the basis for these bars. We came away with great
respect for the skill and care which have created this product.
For a vegan
chocoholic, Denman Island chocolate bars really are perfection.
I often think how amazing it is that the absolutely best chocolate
I have ever tasted also happens to not only be vegan, but is produced
by a company which donates a portion of its profits to local conservations
efforts, and uses organic, non-slavery produced chocolate. I think
that the Terrys are even more special than their chocolate. I am
delighted every time I check their website and see they have added
more outlets where Denman Island is sold.
Before I babble
excitedly to someone I'm urging to try Denman Island chocolate,
I am always careful to have at least six bars of it stashed at home...
you never know when supply could suddenly exceed demand. In fact,
an even greater threat is chocolate robbery. Yes! In typical Denman
Island fashion, the finished bars are transported to the local post
office in a small cart hitched to a bicycle... no armoured van,
no armed guards... All those thick, chunky, bittersweet chocolate
bars, stuffed with toasted hazelnuts, cracked coffee beans, piquant
raspberries... the aromas of fresh mint and luscious orange bursting
through the colourful foil wrapping,... the high-octane swagger
of the 70% Cocoa Loco bars... simply being pedalled to the po...
Sa-a-a-y maybe I should find out what day those shipments
are made, so that this article is more informative in the interests
of scientific research, of course