Relishing in ‘Delightful’ Blueberry Cheesecake and Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream at Delight Fair Trade Chocolate!

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It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s made from coconut milk, and it’s dairy-free: it’s a vegan chocolate ice cream alert!  And it’s deliciously decadent.  I’m a little bummed that I’ll be seeing the Toronto Chocolate Festival this year come to a close without tucking a little sweet something-something under my belt to show you all, but I think the delicious vegan chocolate ice cream I have here more than makes up for that.  As I said to my friend Christina a few weeks ago, Toronto may not be the vegan capital of the world, but there sure are some darn amazing vegan establishments and good eats around the city, and Delight Fair Trade Chocolate in the Junction is one of them! 

I made my discovery of Delight Chocolate waaay back in April when I was visiting Bunners Bake Shop during Veggielicious and walking around the Junction neighbourhood for the very first time.  As I was walking to Bunners along Dundas West, I passed by Delight before it had opened its doors for business and stopped to stare.  The storefront was beautiful to look at with its cursive logo in black and white, its black and white striped curtains tied with bright red bows, and its tiny little wooden bench sitting outside.  I stuck my nose against the storefront window and peered inside at the wooden furniture and shelves of chocolate.  The shop looked so pretty and elegant, and I had no idea at the time that it held such yummy treasures inside.

After doing a quick Google search, I found out that Delight Chocolate not only sold Fair Trade handmade chocolates, but that they also sold ice cream!  YES!  Another ice cream parlour, chocolatier, and cafe on the foodie hit list!  Along with the chocolate and ice cream are the juicy sorbets made from seasonal fruits, and cafe drinks.  At Delight, the emphasis is placed on using local, organic ingredients alongside Fair Trade chocolate. 

The term “Fair Trade” isn’t tossed around or used as a gimmick.  Delight truly believes in the importance of supporting equitable working conditions and the positive, ethical treatment of farmers and workers and the environment.  The business goes out of their way to source ingredients from Ontario and Canadian farmers and to form co-operative relationships through Camino/La Siembra.  Delight fully discloses all ingredient information used in their products right down to the farms the ingredients came from, such as Harmony Organic and Certified Local Food Plus.  In a nutshell, the chocolate and ice cream here are a representation of the belief in reciprocity via sustainability, growth in communities, and respect for everything and everyone involved in creating the food we eat.

Delight’s lineup of ice cream flavours is amazing because not only do they have some really unique and creative flavours, many of the flavours are truly local and Canadiana.  Aside from the mainstays like mint chocolate chip, vanilla, and chocolate peanut butter chip, the real standouts are the flavours such as spiced plum, honey lavender, peaches n’ cream, Niagara apricot, Quebec Blue Cheese, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Delight’s signature vegan chocolate ice cream!  Aside from organic and vegetarian/vegan grocery stores, there are a handful of places in the city that serve vegan ice cream and Delight’s specialty is the vegan chocolate.  I’m hoping to introduce many more options as time goes on, so you can consider this the first post in a tentative vegan ice cream series! 

Prices for ice cream differ based on whether you have it in a cup or in a handmade waffle cone, but a single scoop in a cup will run you $3.25, a single scoop in a waffle cone at $3.95, a double scoop serving in a cup at $5.50, and a double scoop on a waffle cone at $5.95.  Given how generous the scoop portions are and given how utterly mouthwateringly delicious the ice cream is, it is well worth it.

I knew I wanted the vegan chocolate from the get-go.  I was about to settle with just the one scoop until I saw all my other options.  I internally groaned.  The decision was going to be achingly difficult.  What flavour to choose for the 2nd scoop??  After hemming and hawing, I chose the blueberry cheesecake.  It sounded fab and the colour was beautiful.  The blueberry cheesecake is everything that you could ever want in a cheesecake flavour.  It’s thick, it’s tangy, and even though there’s no graham cracker crumb crust in the ice cream, you can literally TASTE it in every bite.  The blueberry and cheesecake flavour is a beautiful combination because the simaltaneous sour and juicy sweet flavour of the blueberry melds with the creamy tanginess which results in a wonderfully rich ice cream. 

And speaking of rich, the vegan chocolate was oh-my-god-out-of-this-world.  I don’t think you’ve truly eaten an amazing chocolate ice cream until you have eaten the vegan chocolate at Delight.  I loved the texture and consistency.  It’s not melty or runny and when you spoon it, it holds its shape so that when you put a nice, chocolately chunk of it in your mouth, you get all of the thick creamy goodness thanks to the coconut milk.  It’s thick and rich and the chocolate flavour just shines with that perfect punch of bitterness that tastes so amazing in dark chocolate.  You know the kind I’m referring to.  The type of dark chocolate that isn’t too strong or overwhelming, but still has a high enough percentage of cocoa solids to really let the natural cocoa shine through.  I loved that hint of bitter, natural cocoa flavour.

    

Now that it’s fall, Delight has a pumpkin pie ice cream that I’m dying to try!  It’s time for another visit because the Fall Harvest Series (and my tastebuds) are waiting for it.

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Delight has two locations in Toronto with one serving the Junction neighbourhood at 3040 Dundas Street West and the other located by Trinity Bellwoods Park in the West Queen West neighbourhood at 805 Queen Street West.  For more info, visit their website here.

Skipping Down Chocolate & Candy Lane – The Nutty Chocolatier on Queen St. East in the Beaches, Part I

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My trip to The Nutty Chocolatier in the Beaches area on Queen St. East was well worth the wait.  I waited A YEAR to come back to this sweet morsel of confectionary to finally take the photos I wanted to take.  You all know how anal I am about my photos.  If I don’t like them, I retake until I’m satisfied.  And if it takes me a year to go back to a place, I will mumble and grumble but patiently wait till the day I get to come back.  I know it sounds so silly considering that all it takes is a subway and streetcar ride.  But the weather doesn’t always cooperate when you make plans to go, sometimes you just feel like exploring another neighbourhood, and other times you run out of bus tokens and tickets and feel too cheap to buy more, and thus the trip is prolonged for another chunk of time.  Sigh.  Tis the life of a foodie. 

I went to the Beaches area for the first time last summer and I was so, so excited to go back to revisit some places and to explore a bit more this past month.  The Beaches area is beautiful.  It’s quaint, it’s peaceful, and it has that lovely mom-and-pop feel.  Added bonus?  It’s just a hop, skip, step away from Woodbine beach!  When you walk along Queen St. E, it feels so nice because you can feel the balmy air coming in from the shore.  When I spend a day in the Beaches, my plan of action involves getting off the Queen streetcar at Woodbine Ave. and walking east till I’m too tired to keep walking, ha! 

Even though I may not buy things in every candy shop I go into (what self-control I have!), I looove looking and The Nutty Chocolatier is a BIG shop that offers candy, chocolate, British imports and memorabilia (there were plenty of William and Kate mugs among other things when I was there this past month, haha), gelato and icecream, imported chips and savoury snacks, and lots and lots of fudge!  So here’s a teaser post with photos of The Nutty Chocolatier, the resident neighbourhood candy store, fudge shop, and cavity-inducing sugar emporium with plenty of local and imported sweets and treats 😀

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The Nutty Chocolatier is located in the Beaches neighbourhood at 2179 Queen Street East, east of Woodbine Ave. and in between Lee and Hambly Ave.

Candy, Candy, and More Candy! The Elusive Coconut M&Ms, Part I

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Given the title of the post, you all know what this photo teaser post is alluding to 😉  I may not eat candy on a regular basis, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean I don’t squeal like a 4-year-old when I’m surrounded by canisters and shelves full of M&Ms, Almond Joy bars, colourful bags of Skittles, and my personal favourite, Fuzzy Peaches!  I know everyone has their candy and chocolate weaknesses and chomping on the bit on some fruity tutti sweets or fudgy morsels is just half the fun.  The novelty and nostalgia of candy and candy shops hits us all.  It’s fun remembering the goodies we used to eat when we were kids, it’s fun reminiscing about old favourites that are no longer with us but are instead in sugar coma heaven, and it’s fun finding flavours we never knew even existed! 

I can’t tell you how many friends have oohed and ahhed over my Japanese Yan-Yans growing up, how many Aero bars I have sent across the border and overseas to friends, and how many bags of Skittles my friends and I used to share in high school.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on Chupa Chups lollipops!  I remember how much my friends and I adored Fun Dip in elementary school and how much I loved Ring Pops because of the way it resembled colourful jeweled jelly.  I remember how jubilant I was when putting together candy goody bags for a birthday party years and years ago and how funny my friends were when they unleashed their inner child over them: “do you wanna trade?  Oh my god, Rockets!  Forget taking this home, I’m eating this now!”  It’s one of the reasons why writing this blog is so fun.  You get to reminisce but at the same time talk about things that are still fresh and relevant.

It’s absolutely fascinating and so much fun seeing how different candy and chocolate production is in different regions of the world and seeing the different products and flavours that are offered.  I’m telling you, it blows my mind seeing nearly 50 flavours of Lays chips and being able to get my hands (and my sweet teeth!) on flavoured Kit Kats like green tea, orange, banana, and white chocolate!  Candy and chocolate certainly isn’t the healthiest of treats, but it’s definitely the funnest and the treats that generate the most giddiness and nostalgic discussion.  Enjoy the photos, I have an awesome (if I do say so myself) post for you guys tomtomorrow’s post is going to be gooood 😉

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Uncle John’s Candy Shack is located at 635 Mount Pleasant Rd. between Eglinton and Davisville Ave., just north of Manor Rd.