VegSource Interactive, Inc. | Denman Island Chocolate

Denman Island Chocolate
by Wendy Stewart

My 25-year search for the perfect chocolate has ended. Along the way, I forced myself to eat and evaluate chocolate which ranged from Godiva, Bernard Callebaut, See's, and Roger's, to Ganong's, Hershey's and Lindt...They were… okay. However, determined to taste-test as much chocolate as humanly possible, three years ago I purchased a bar called Denman Island Chocolate, mint flavour, sold at a snack kiosk set up at a writers' festival. I had been eyeing the tempting display of Denman Island Chocolate throughout the days of the festival, and on my last day there, felt that I really should try it, in the name of scientific interest, of course.

As soon as I was settled on the plane for home and had my first chocolaty bite, I realized what a dreadful mistake I had made - I had bought only ONE bar! It was wonderful - rich dark chocolate, melting with velvety smoothness on my tongue, and blending perfectly with the crisp mint flavouring - oh, the delicious lingering aftertaste! Frantically I read the bar wrapping, to see if I could find an address to correspond with the company. Luckily there was one, and a desperate letter was sent as soon as I arrived home in Calgary, asking whether it would be possible to purchase a box of the chocolate bars. I was thrilled to receive a reply that Denman Island was being sold at a large health food store in Calgary!

I made an immediate pilgrimage, stocking up on all flavours, eventually settling on three favourites - the intensely flavourful mint, the crunchy, rich toasted hazelnut, and the coffee bean blitzed espresso bar. Naturally, extensive tasting and re-tasting was necessary to reach this decision. In the meantime, I had developed a bit of a correspondence with Ruth and Daniel Terry, the talented creators of Denman Island chocolates, letting them know how much I loved their product.

The following summer, when my partner, Keith, and I were making plans to attend the writers' festival together, we decided it would be logical to make a slight detour to visit Denman Island and see the actual chocolate factory (again, as part of scientific investigation into the production of chocolate...). When we asked the Terrys if this would be possible, they not only readily agreed, but insisted that we stay the night at their house! The next morning we had a tour of the "factory", which is in separate quarters of the house, and learned just how much expertise is required to temper perfectly the bittersweet dark chocolate which is the basis for these bars. We came away with great respect for the skill and care which have created this product.

For a vegan chocoholic, Denman Island chocolate bars really are perfection. I often think how amazing it is that the absolutely best chocolate I have ever tasted also happens to not only be vegan, but is produced by a company which donates a portion of its profits to local conservations efforts, and uses organic, non-slavery produced chocolate. I think that the Terrys are even more special than their chocolate. I am delighted every time I check their website and see they have added more outlets where Denman Island is sold.

Before I babble excitedly to someone I'm urging to try Denman Island chocolate, I am always careful to have at least six bars of it stashed at home... you never know when supply could suddenly exceed demand. In fact, an even greater threat is chocolate robbery. Yes! In typical Denman Island fashion, the finished bars are transported to the local post office in a small cart hitched to a bicycle... no armoured van, no armed guards... All those thick, chunky, bittersweet chocolate bars, stuffed with toasted hazelnuts, cracked coffee beans, piquant raspberries... the aromas of fresh mint and luscious orange bursting through the colourful foil wrapping,... the high-octane swagger of the 70% Cocoa Loco bars... simply being pedalled to the po... Sa-a-a-y… maybe I should find out what day those shipments are made, so that this article is more informative…in the interests of scientific research, of course…