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Treats: Chocolate from Choklat

04 May

Fresh Peppermint truffle

 Fresh peppermint – When I got home I read on the sheet they gave me that it was actually called Fresh Peppermint with White Chocolate, but there was no distinct chocolate flavor. Don’t get me wrong, the chocolate shell the inner filling had been dipped in was a lovely chocolate, the right buttercream percentage so it didn’t melt on my fingers, but melted almost immediately on my tongue, and the peppermint flavor was fresh and minty (though it was probably peppermint oil, and not actually peppermint leaves, so I’m not sure how that works with the whole ‘fresh’ promise) but again, it was like eating two very different items. The chocolate flavor didn’t permeate the peppermint filling (the white chocolate it was apparently mixed with was either very low in it’s own flavor, or completely overwhelmed by the peppermint) and the chocolate shell hadn’t had the time to absorb any of the minty flavor of it’s filling.

Ice wine truffle

Ice wine – I was really looking forward to this one – I though about some of the lovely Ontario and BC ice wines that I’ve had – light, sweet, almost ‘bubbly’ on the tongue. Since I like sweet, I find them more refreshing than ‘sweet’ like some people do, and find them less heavy than other wines. When I took the first small bite, I was disappointed. There was a dark, heavy alcohol taste to me to begin with – something I’d associate with port or sherry (I don’t even pretend to know much about wines, only that this didn’t have the light, fruity taste that I had expected.) The wine flavor completely overwhelmed the chocolate. While I still had the texture of a chocolate truffle, I was very disappointed with the flavor.

Cream Cheese truffle

Cream Cheese – There wasn’t anything really special to this chocolate actually, it seemed to be a soft, blended cream cheese ball dipped in chocolate. I had expected more of a chocolate flavor mixed in with the cream cheese, but the two seemed to be almost separate entities, just wrapped in the same foil wrapper.

My final thoughts – this experience was highly overpriced, and I’ve had a more enjoyable experience with far lower-cost chocolates. The sales pitch raised my expectations of flavor and quality, and since I don’t really care about the pedigree of my chocolate, this ended up seeming pretentious instead of informative. The sales pitch also reminded me a bit of election promises – ei: instead of telling me how good they were, they focused more on how everyone else was bad.

Between a product that didn’t live up to the sales pitch, a hefty price tag, and chocolates that were nothing to write home about, Choklat left a bad taste in my mouth.

Have you tried visiting Choklat?  What do you think?  Please comment below with your thoughts!

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Downtown Calgary, Treats

 

Tags: ,

3 responses to “Treats: Chocolate from Choklat

  1. Brad Churchill

    May 7, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Hello. My name is Brad Churchill. I’m the owner of Choklat.

    I can’t comment on your opinions of our confections. They are your opinions just as mine are mine, and neither of us are right or wrong. When it comes to confections, it comes down to personal choice and personal taste.

    What I CAN say however, is that:
    1. We DO use the finest and rarest cocoa in the world.
    2. We never say that the products our peers make is bad. We simply say that we make chocolate and they buy bulk chocolate. It’s the truth. It’s a significant differentiator between what we do and what typical chocolatiers do.
    3. We’re about chocolate, not truffles. I have had THE most prolific chocolatiers in the world walk through our doors, including Derek Tu Tan Pho, the Technical Director of the largest chocolate company in the world, and comment that my chocolate is some of the best he’s ever had. Derek teaches courses all over the world to some of the finest chocolatiers in the world. If anyone would know good chocolate it would be him.
    4. The peppermint used in our truffles is an English mint, grown by me personally from cuttings taken last year from a lavender farm on Vancouver Island. It’s very delicate in comparison to the medicinal peppermint that everyone is typically used to.
    5. As far as price goes, please do your homework. Our prices are on par with our peers, our portions are larger, our products are fresher, and you get choices from us whereas you don’t from our peers. With them you get what they make, not what you want. Oh… and we don’t charge for the boxes like our peers do. For example: a 53 gram Porcelana chocolate bar from Amedei (the only other company in the world that currently has access to that bean) sells for $25 at the Chocolate Spot in Willowpark. Our 92 gram Porcelana bar sells for $11 – twice the size and half the price. I’ve been told by many to charge more because of the quality of beans we use, but I didn’t think Calgary was ready for a $25 chocolate bar.
    5. Please bring in your favorite dark bar and taste it side by side with one of the bars we make. I’ll bet you a dollar that you won’t eat your favorite bar again.
    6. I WAS the gentleman sitting at the counter. You were initially greeted by me because Jordan wasn’t immediately available. She was a new staff member being trained, and I was sitting at the counter working on my laptop and ensuring everthing she was trained to say was being said properly, and that it was accurate. It would have been no benefit to her had I helped you out. The bottom line is that you were greeted politely by both myself and Jordan, you were treated pleasantly and with respect, and our shop along with its unique features was thoroughly explained to you. I apologize if you got the impression I was snobbish. That wasn’t my intent at all.
    7. Last but not least: In the past 2 1/2 years we have processed over 37,000 orders in that little shop, and I have yet to refund a single person’s purchase because they weren’t happy with their purchase. However, there’s always a first, and given our track record, one out of 37,000 is pretty darned good. It’s evident that you weren’t happy with your purchase. I will be happy to give you a refund for your truffles. However there’s a string attached: I would first like you to be my guest at one of our very popular “Choklat Snobbery 101” evenings. If at the end of that evening (chocolate tasting, wine pairing, and a step by step walkthrough of what makes good and bad chocolate) if you still aren’t happy, you get your money back right then. The reason I’m offering this to you, is because I feel that if you’re going to take the considerable time you did to write about food, it would only seem reasonable that you are passionate about food, and would like to learn more about what you’re passionate for.

    Cheers, and thanks for allowing me to post this reply.

    Respectfully
    Brad Churchill
    Choklat
    http://www.SoChoklat.com

     
  2. Dawn

    May 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Hi there Brad, thanks for commenting!

    On your concern about my comment on the price of your chocolates, I’m afraid I was only comparing them to the chocolates I’ve had that I’ve enjoyed and found to be of a similar quality. As I mentioned, I’m not really all that worried (read:knowledgeable) about the pedigree of ingredients, so I was just comparing what-I-like-to-what-I-like. I’ve never had a Porcelana chocolate bar from Amadei, so I wouldn’t really know what that tastes like or how much it costs, or how that compares with your products.

    Oh, and yes – Jordan (sorry I didn’t catch her name when we were in the shop) was excellent and informative, especially for being a new employee!

    I’d be very curious to attend your Chocolate Snobbery 101 evenings – if only to compare different chocolates and learn more – is the wine pairing a key component of the evening though? I’m not really that keen on wine (now a tea pairing would be AWESOME!) and my only concern would be that I really wouldn’t get as much out of the experience.

    Thanks for your reply, it’s awesome to see a shop owner so involved and passionate about his chocolates!
    Dawn

     
    • Brad Churchill

      May 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Dawn;

      I’d be happy to invite you to the evening of your choice. Please check our event calendar on our website and choose the Monday you can make it, then give me a call. My direct line is 403-472-8701. The wine pairing isn’t a focal part of the evening at all. (We’re all about the chocolate! 😉 ) It’s fun, but at the very end to cap the evening. Out of the couple of hours, it’s only maybe 20 minutes.

      I look forward to your call, such that we can arrange a time that works for you.

      Cheers.
      Brad

       

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