The Chocolate Issue

Humans have known that chocolate is awesome for millennia.

This week’s Vue is The Chocolate Issue. It was my first feature issue as Dish editor, and I think it turned out pretty well if I may say so myself. Which I can, because I just did.

The main piece is a set of interviews with five of Edmonton’s local, independent chocolatiers: Rebecca Grant from The Violet Chocolate Company, Karey Spenst from Choklat, Dennis Yurkiwsky from Chocolate Exquisite, Brett Roy from Sweet Lollapalooza, and Jacqueline Jacek from JACEK Chocolate Couture.

They represent the bulk of the chocolate indies in the city; I’m sure there are a few others keeping a lower profile. No, I didn’t talk to anyone from Purdy’s or Bernard Callebaut or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, because those are chains using mass-produced chocolate and honestly? Most of that stuff is little better than a fancier version of Pot of Gold. Anyway, it’s a bit of a longer read but I think it’s interesting to see how differently each person responded to the same questions; I particularly like how Dennis from Chocolate Exquisite declared that passion is for the young and a good chocolatier needs discipline, and then Brett from Sweet Lollapalooza said passion is the number one thing a chocolatier needs. I thought it was pretty funny, anyway.

I also wrote a Chocolate FAQ which covers all the basics. I learned so much when researching for this issue: chocolate is quite a complicated food with an extremely long and convoluted history. (I had hoped to include a historical timeline of chocolate as well, but alas that wasn’t in the cards/space.)

My last piece was a fun rant on raw chocolate, which was something that Karey from Choklat steered me towards. Basically, raw chocolate is bunk – it’s either not actually raw, or it is and you’ll get extremely sick/die if you eat it. Raw foodism ranks near the top of my list of most irritating food fads, along with gluten-free (when it’s because of misinformation/trendiness and not a legitimate disease) and food cleanses/detoxes. It’s just so much pseudo-scientific hogwash; the mind boggles.

Oh, and Jason wrote a great beer column about beers with chocolate flavour, which is definitely worth a read – and then a drink, because chocolate beer is fucking great.

Finally, a shout out to Rebecca at The Violet Chocolate Company for helping us create the chocolate Vue logo that we used on the cover – yes, that’s a real picture of a real chocolate logo. The mold was created using a 3D printer (! – the future is here, guys) and then she cast the logo using that. Cool.

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