I’ve recently had the pleasure of receiving some amazing chocolate from Brent Smith, “Chief Chocolate Officer” at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The chocolates were not only good and highly creative, they reminded me of the love I have for Canada’s most easterly province, Newfoundland & Labrador.
Canadians (or anyone) can’t really feel they’ve seen our great country until they’ve spent some time on The Rock. It’s different than any other part of Canada. In a really nice way. People speak with quite an accent, especially “the townies” from St. John’s. They almost have a different language!
In fact, when writing the first edition of the Frommer’s Guide to Newfoundland & Labrador in 2003, I often referred to my trusty massive 770-page Dictionary of Newfoundland English for insight and guidance. The Newfies (I’m told by a Newfoundland friend that it’s OK to call them that) have their own words, terms and phraseology for just about everything. But they speak the universal language of friendliness.
Coming from the province of Manitoba (whose nickname is “Friendly Manitoba”) I’m used to a friendly, smiling people and can honestly say I feel right at home when I’m among friends in Newfoundland. I think it was because our first-ever hosts in the province were Don & Yvonne Bradbury, a lovely couple who ran the Maunder Manor B&B until recently when they officially retired. They were the ultimate B&B hosts and became good friends of ours.
But back to the chocolate. The Newfoundland Chocolate Company is located in the heart of St. John’s and justifiably considered the best chocolatier in the province. What I really like about Brent’s chocolates is that they come with a map of Newfoundland! The “Lighthouse Series” is named after villages, sites and outposts where you’ll find the province’s iconic lighthouses.
Although the enrobing of the chocolate is a bit thick for my liking, it is delicious and the chocolates feature local berries such as bakeapples, partridgeberries, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, and imported nuts blended with fine chocolate couverture. Is your mouth watering yet? If you can’t make it to The Rock this year, you can purchaseÂ Brent’s chocolates on the various maritime ferries throughout Atlantic Canada. Unfortunately, they’re not yet available via mail order/online orders. Just one more reason to head to The Rock!
My husband, Reg (pictured above at Bird Rock, one of our favourite places on the island) can’t keep his hand out of the box. These just may be his favourite chocolates yet, and believe me, he’s tried most of the ones I have had in the house.
Have you been to Newfoundland & Labrador? What has been your favourite taste of The Rock? Please help me reminisce about the only province with a time zone named after it, always one step ahead of the rest of us.
And join us back here the week of March 12th, when we’ll be talking about public transportation.