One of the city’s favourite festivals, the Hot Chocolate Festival returns for its 6th season, bigger and better than ever, with Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes, gelato and ice cream parlours joining forces to make the humble hot chocolate hotter than it has ever been before.
With 59 hot chocolates to choose from, it’s going to take all 30 days of the Festival to try them all. Trend watches won’t be surprised to see salted caramel, Earl Grey tea and coconut as popular flavour choices again this year. But if they’re looking for something a little edgier, they will find plenty to tempt their curiosity.
After all, when was the last time you tried a hot chocolate spiked with …
* OYSTERS: Calling all adventurers. Mink Chocolates, who had all of Vancouver cheeping about their ‘cricket” drink last year, are going for the buzz again with a drink combo that incorporates smoked oysters. We almost can’t believe it ourselves. Taste will tell ….
* PEACHES: “Love is Monkey see and Monkey do…That’s all it is, Peaches!” Well, maybe there’s a little white chocolate in there too. Soirette Macarons & Tea continues to produce the cream of the crop.
* GREAT LORDS OF SITH!!: Is that Darth Vader perched on your mug? Watch out! Gem Chocolates has gone over to “The Dark Side”, so stay true and may the chocolate force be with you.
* OTTOMAN SELEP ROOT: The always romantic Paul Dincer, owner of Koko Monk Chocolates, is our exotic Festival Poet, so when he claims his “Istanbul Blues” drink
of chocolate plus Middle Eastern roots and spices will “create a palace in your heart like a cozy, dreamy, Turkish winter morning”, you’d better believe him!
* MYSTERY BEANS: At Thierry Chocolaterie they’re keeping their drink details so secret they wouldn’t even share them with us. What? No, really! You’ll have to visit and report back to us. Inquiring minds want to know.
* 10-YEAR-OLD SCOTCH: (Not Scotch for 10-year-olds.) Robbie Burns Day is just around the corner. So if you’re of the age of consent, lift a wee cup of “Malt Teaser” at Chocolate Arts and drink hale and hearty till ye’re auld enough tae dee.
* DOUBLE TROUBLE: Bella Gelateria had so many hot chocolate visions in mind they had to split them up between their two locations in Coal Harbour and Yaletown. Different drinks and hours at each venue. However we’ve heard a rumour that both places may drive you bananas.
By: Richard Wolak