I’m always looking for chocolate, and I’m continually surprised and delighted by teeny tiny chocolatiers in the most unlikeliest of places. For example, my recent trip to Salt Spring Island find of Chocolate Beach. Or, more recently, on my fabulous weekend in the mountains of Rossland, B.C., visiting the Mountain Nugget Chocolate Company.
I think the universe conspired to put this little shop on my radar. I found them through Twitter, and then my friends G & M, who live in Rossland, mentioned this great little chocolate shop that had just opened in their town. With G & M’s recent nuptials in Rossland, it seemed that it was time for us to meet face-to-face.
Trish Dyer, the chocolatier, is delightful with just a hint of sass. If I had had more time in Rossland I would have taken her out for a beer so we could revel in our mutual sassiness.
As fate would have it, I had to settle for a mere box of chocolates. There’s a nice selection of traditional flavours, updated by using local or regional ingredients, and some decided wackiness.
The wasabi confection is adventurous and ambitious. I popped it in my mouth and experienced a tongue-whooping blast of wasabi. My nasal cavities braced themselves for the pain that usually accompanies that kind of wasabi power, but it never came. Instead, the wasabi mellowed into chocolate ganache with serious brownie notes. I can’t say that I love it, but the play on senses is definitely intriguing.
There’s the requisite sea salt caramel: perhaps a bit heavy-handed with the salt but the caramel is thoughtfully chewy without being sticky. Standouts include Noir, a classic French truffle, delightfully dark, perfectly smooth and rolled in cocoa powder. The filling in the truffle is a bit softer than the other Mountain Nugget confections, and I like it.
The peanut butter barrel is essentially two peanut butter cups stacked on top of each other to look like a barrel. I preferred to eat it as two peanut butter cups—one treat spread over two tasting sessions. Peanut butter and chocolate are a natural combination, but the peanut butter here really sings. It’s a rich, deep nut butter that tastes like the peanuts roasted in the oven for a minute more than they were supposed to—not because anyone forgot about them, but because they wanted to hang out a bit longer, dammit. This peanut butter is badass.
The star of the show has to be the coconut log. A grown-up version of Bounty bar, this is a white chocolate ganache with toasted coconut, maybe a hint of honey, and just a touch of saltiness to cut through the richness. Choose from dark or milk chocolate on the outside, and get two because you won’t want to share with anyone.
There’s also a nice selection of bars with inclusions (that is, chocolate bars with stuff in them) like almonds, dried fruit and nuts.
Mountain Nugget Chocolate Company
2076 Columbia Avenue