In Ingersoll, Canada, step inside a shop where homemade chocolates meet international teas.
One of the sweetest things about travel - literally - is the chance to discover delicious bakeries and cafes around the world. You don't always have to head to Europe to satisfy that sweet tooth either. Some of my favourite delectable treats and treasures have been unexpectedly found in small towns and Chocolatea is the perfect example of that. Frankly, you'd never expect to find gourmet homemade chocolates in a town as small as Ingersoll, Canada, but Chocolatea isn't one to play by the rules.
By the way, in case you're wondering where, exactly, Ingersoll is, you aren't alone! This small town is in southern Ontario, approximately 30 minutes east of London and 2.5 hours southwest of Toronto. In other words - Ontario roadtrippers have no excuse not to visit!
This Ontario chocolate shop has a few surprises up its sleeves!
Proprietress Cindy Walker is as sweet and lovely as the chocolates she makes. As a professional chocolatier, she knows all the secrets of creating delicious old fashioned truffles but she prefers to spice things up a bit - literally! Her chocolates at Chocolatea include some rather unorthodox ingredients such as cayenne pepper and even curry powder. I was highly skeptical about the curry powder but I learned it really is true that there's no such thing as bad chocolate!
If I'm being honest, the Ontario chocolate scene (and come to think of it, the Ontario tea scene) is usually pretty tame and conservative. I'm so glad Cindy isn't afraid to shake things up and try new flavors. We need more people doing that!!
In addition to the assorted chocolates on display, there are a lot of other chocolate goodies on offer. My personal favourite were the homemade S'mores made with raspberry marshmallows. We had every intention of devouring our S'mores when we went camping at the nearby Pittock Conservation Area but alas Mother Nature had other plans - we got caught in an epic thunderstorm! So we did what any real S'mores devotees would do - we took them home and we roasted them using the blow torch we normally reserve for crème brûlée! When it comes to S'mores, there is no such thing as shame.
I usually pair my chocolate treats with a latte or, um, wine, but at Chocolatea the main brew is loose leaf, ethically traded tea. I admittedly know very little about tea and usually confine my consumption to London fogs, chai lattes, and herbal blends. But I took advantage of Cindy's knowledge to get some advice on a Christmas present (and I'm not saying who it's for!) I was impressed by her knowledge and I loved looking at and smelling all the different blends on display.
I've always believed that the best travel experiences are affordable and accessible to everyone and I think that taking the time to explore small towns fits well with that philosophy. There are so many delicious delights like Chocolatea waiting to be discovered, and not just in Ingersoll. I challenge you to visit a small community on your next trip and take the time to discover its sweet side! If you're looking for things to do in Ingersoll, Canada, a visit to Chocolatea is at the top of my list.
Have you discovered an irresistible chocolate shop during your travels?
If you're in southwest Ontario, here's what else you should check out.
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My visit to Ingersoll was supported by Oxford County Tourism and I thank them for their support.
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