This is Thanksgiving weekend in Manitoba, Canada where I live, and keeping in tune with our last post about Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on the Canadian Prairies, I thought I’d indulge in a post in a post about my hometown and one of the most spectacular things about it for anyone interested in chocolate travel.
Artisanal chocolate in Winnipeg
If you do a google search on “artisanal chocolate” you’ll be surprised to land on the site of Winnipeg’s own Chocolatier Constance Popp , the Manitoba capital’s only award-winning artisanal chocolatier. Good on Constance (whose last name is Menzies) for scooping up that sought-after URL, as the quest for excellence in artisanal chocolate is a growing global phenomenon and the reason I am writing Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate.
Constance Popp Chocolatier
I first met Constance a couple of years ago at the “Chicks and Chocolate” fundraising event in Winnipeg. She was busy handing out free chocolates and it was then that I had the first opportunity to try her chocolates. I’ll never forget the taste and texture of the Manitoba beet truffle, which remains one of my favourite chocolates to this day. As well, another amazing chocolate creation you’ll find at Constance Popp Chocolatier is the dark chocolate maple bacon bark. If you’ve never had bacon bark, you’re really missing out on something terrific. The slight saltiness and smokiness of the crushed bacon goes impeccably well with the 56% dark chocolate and the hint of maple gives it a truly Manitoba flavouring.
Constance is well known throughout the province for making uniquely Manitoba products such as her chocolate golden boy, the “Birch Bar” made from birch syrup, and the Manitobar, a small bar shaped like the province of Manitoba and filled with hemp, flax and sunflower seeds, and lemon honey to make it a healthy form of indulgence.
And at Thanksgiving and by special order, you can enhance any family gathering with one of Constance’s own multi-coloured chocolate turkeys! These babies are about the size of a roasting chicken and cost about $65 each. I tried talking my husband into one to take to the family gathering we were heading for today but it didn’t happen. Hopefully, sometime soon, as Im sure those turkeys taste just as good as they look.
This post is also a tribute to the wealth of talent we have in our own backyards. I’d recently done a post on my writer’s blog encouraging travel writers to look for stories about the treasures and talent right in their own neighbourhoods. And I’m proud to say that after three years of traipsing around the world looking for the most unique and scrumptious chocolate creations, I’ve finally opened the door to the delicious and highly creative chocolate offerings at 1853 Portage Avenue, right in my hometown of Winnipeg — and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m very thankful for that.
Have you tried the chocolate of Constance Popp Chocolatier? Do you have a favourite chocolate treat there? Among the creations I’ve mentioned above, I also really love the chocolate peanut butter cups. They put Reese’s to shame! Oh, and did I mention the chocolate skulls for Halloween?