I’ve said it before and I will probably say it again; Canada has an incredible selection of bean-to-bar chocolate. For a country that is too cold to ever stand a chance of actually producing cacao beans, chocolate makers here sure know how to source the optimal product, and have the skills to pump out bars that can hold their own against any others around the globe. Take for example Hummingbird chocolate out of Almonte, Ontario. They cleaned up at the 2015 International Chocolate Awards, receiving acclaim for both their flavoured and single origin bars. I was fortunate to get to sample their many offerings recently and tended to agree with the verdict from the awards; they’re good, really good.
Let’s start with a bar I knew I would en”joy” the second I read the description. As the name suggests, Hummingbird’s PB & Joy bar combines the ever-popular flavour pairing of chocolate and peanut butter. But get rid of any preconceptions you have of sugar-laden chocolate peanut butter cups. With this bar you taste both the chocolate and the peanuts to their fullest potential. Not tooth-achingly sweet, it’s a grown-up version of a chocolate pb treat.
Their Hispaniola bar made from beans sourced from the Dominican Republic is also worth noting. I always like cacao from this region because I love the combined fruitiness and tobacco notes you get when it melts in your mouth. It’s a winner, literally and figuratively.
The Zorzal bar is particularly interesting, not only because of its lingering notes of apricot and pecan, but because a portion of the proceeds from the bar’s sales go towards supporting a bird sanctuary in the Dominican Republic. The Zorzal is a songbird that spends its summers in Canada, and its winters in the Dominican. It is threatened with extinction so the sanctuary in the Dominican helps to protect it’s habitat.
I also really liked Hummingbird’s fleur de sel bar (so much so that I devoured it before remembering to take a picture), with salt sourced from Vancouver Island Salt Co. Their other flavours include the spicy Mayan bar, as well as the honey lavender bar, both of which ingredients are sourced locally.