I was inspired to write this newsletter after reading this passage from Mackenzie Rivers (Map Chocolate) when she talks about creating inclusion bars; "It’s about taking an idea, deconstructing that idea (a favorite food, a beloved food memory, a riff on a cuisine or dish) and figuring out how to get that idea into chocolate form."
A lot of people ask where I get my ideas and it is usually one of two inspirations; ingredients or memory. I worked for several years as a pastry chef for one of Canada's farm-to table pioneers, which strengthened my determination to work with local ingredients. This is a value that I bring to the chocolate that I make whether it is a fresh ingredient from the farmer's market (rhubarb vanilla bar) or a uniquely Canadian flavour combination (strawberry and sumac bar).
The other inspiration comes from flavours that I like or foods that evoke a memory. The mocha almond crunch bar is based on my mother's go-to celebration cake from Baskin-Robbins. The triple nut and grape malt balls are a nostalgic call back to the pb&j sandwiches packed in elementary school lunches.
But the feelings don't stop with the chocolate. The final piece is the saying on the label that is meant to evoke an emotion or put you in a mood. I think the Earl Grey lavender bar and the Neapolitan malt balls are the best examples of this creativity.
Whether it is the label that makes you giggle or provides a moment of peace, or a bite of chocolate that transports you to a happy memory, we hope you enjoy the journey.