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worst chocolate in the world!

dparallax Sep 1, 2009 09:19 AM

i never post- but wow, i had to warn the world.
i enjoy going to different chocolate shops and tasting the wares. i am a huge chocolate fan- and i prefer the 85-100% cocoa content range. but genevieve grandbois, on st-viateur, for example, is great. but wow- i made the mistake of going to coca delices on laurier west (near esplanade)- and it was so terrible, it... there are no words. my partner and i selected a number of different ones to try- so this was no fluke. and this included the "85% cocoa truffle." they were not chocolates- they were expensive chunks of wax. we tried a variety- chocolate green tea ganache, some chili pepper tequila chocolate, plain, honey, a bunch of different ones. not a single one tasted at all like chocolate- i swear, not even one bit. wow, what a waste of... space, money, everything. like, we would take a bite and actually grimace with disgust.
i don't want anyone still innocent taken unawares. this place is not a chocolate shop. there is no chocolate. put it this way- it left us craving a mars bar or coffee crisp or something super duper comparatively chocolate-tasting.
please don't go there just to see how bad it really is.
go somewhere better. anywhere, i'd assume, is better than this place.
consider yourself warned.

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  1. superbossmom RE: dparallax Sep 1, 2009 10:53 AM

    I was looking through their window last week, telling myself I should go back and try some of their chocolates ; now this.
    I'll continue buying at my favorite one for now, le maitre chocolatier on sherbrooke west.
    I do like genevieve de grandbois also.

    1. carswell RE: dparallax Sep 1, 2009 01:26 PM

      Hmm. A few weeks ago a friend brought a small bag of their "champignon noir" chocolates (crunchy praline cup topped with a caramel dome) to a dinner I attended and gave one mushroom to each guest. While it probably wasn't the best test from a hardcore chocolate lover's standpoint, I have to say that it compared favourably to similar confections from around town. Very pure flavours, excellent enrobage, classy presentation. Only a data point but one that impressed -- far more so than did the grainy and underflavoured pistachio/almond paste-filled chocolate from Le Maître Chocolatier I sampled recently. A few other hounds were at the dinner; maybe they'll chime in with their impressions.


      9 Replies
      1. re: carswell
        cherylmtl RE: carswell Sep 1, 2009 01:59 PM

        IIRC, I was there - I certainly remember those chocolates! They were indeed quite good - hard to believe the OP is talking about the same place.

        1. re: cherylmtl
          wilmagrace RE: cherylmtl Sep 1, 2009 03:59 PM

          i have to say i dont think i have ever tasted a bad chocolate although some are better than others, I am not a fan of laura secord as they are way too sweet. I sort of got addicted to chocolates when I spent several summers in Belgium and France so prefer European style than the North American ones like laura or purdies etc which I always get as gifts! I do enjoy the choices at genevieve de grandbois and do think it is important to support local speciality shops. This is what I love about Montreal as you can find a topnotch specialty shop whether chocolate boutique, patisserie, neighbourhood restaurant in each area so you dont have to go across the city to enjoy a foodie outing

          1. re: eat2much
            SnackHappy RE: eat2much Sep 1, 2009 05:47 PM

            Well, I'm sure the OP would have travelled extensively and made certain to sample all the chocolate in every country they've passed through before making such a bold statement.

            1. re: SnackHappy
              dparallax RE: SnackHappy Sep 4, 2009 06:39 AM

              actually, i have travelled and lived extensively worldwide, and so has my partner- who excitedly tried the chocolates with me (german, dutch, ghanan, french, certainly mexican (mayordomo rocks), bolivian, argentinian, spanish, everywhere else the chocolate has been fine- even korean chocolate- i hadn't thought it could be worse than that, as far as absence of chocolate and overabundance of sugar goes- until this place.). we had around a dozen different ones at cocoa delices- i have never posted a comment on chowhound or anywhere, and never negatively, before. but we were honestly horrified. it's just that. they did tell me at the store that the champignon noir was a favourite- but as there was no chocolate in it, i was uninterested in trying it in the first place- wow, the chocolates didn't even smell remotely chocolate- even the chocolate truffle covered in cocoa had zero chocolate scent- and i've got significant olfactory powers. i'm very happy for anyone who has a good experience there- but there are just so many chocolate places in montreal- all lovely little businesses that don't deserve to lose any business of their own due to people sampling this place- not that there will be return customers- unless people try the praline-caramel mushroom-shaped one and find it to be enjoyable. we were just upset that of all the ones we tried, not a single one was even remotely good. we kept eating more hoping the next one would clear our mouth of the terrible taste in it, and each time, it was simply replaced by something equally bad, if different. with no chocolate.
              anyway, i know people have different opinions on food- sure. it should be that way. just, if you're looking for chocolate- as in chocolate, and not other sweet stuff- avoid this supposed chocolate shop. should have known better, frankly- the shop doesn't even smell a bit like chocolate. sigh.

              1. re: dparallax
                wilmagrace RE: dparallax Sep 4, 2009 12:47 PM

                thank you dparallaz for taking the time to share your impressions, i really appreciate it as I have noticed this shop a couple of times when shopping in that area and now can avoid a letdown by taking my chocolate cravings elsewhere as I do hate to be disappointed when adding calories!

                1. re: dparallax
                  ChowMatter RE: dparallax Sep 5, 2009 08:26 AM

                  Thank you, dparallax, for your opinion. It'll certainly help us chocolate-lovers know where to go and what to avoid.

                  If you're ever in the Eastern Townships, try the Musée du chocolat on the main street. Excellent made-in-house chocolate and marzipan, as well as brands from other countries. The 100% bar of Madagascar chocolate was heavenly (we got the last bar in the shop that day!).

                  (Don't know why my original post here was deleted, so I'm re-posting a shorter version now. No more mention of other poster's comments on new posters' opinions . . .)

          2. re: carswell
            souschef RE: carswell Sep 1, 2009 08:39 PM

            The pistachio/almond paste chocolate from Maitre Chocolatier is one that I really like. They told me that they make the fillings themselves; from what I have read, it is impossible to get a smooth paste without the large high-pressure commercial rollers used by large companies.

            1. re: carswell
              carswell RE: carswell Sep 7, 2009 08:56 AM

              Unlike others, friends and I decided to give Cocoa Délices a try before passing judgement. A box of ten assorted chocolates set us back a little over $11 including taxes (i.e. significant less expensive than some other places). The clerk also threw in a freebie of a rose-petal nougat.

              Many of dparallax's criticisms proved true for the Truffe Noire Nature, especially the waxy texture and a lack of chocolate flavour and complexity that belied its 85% label. As a confection, it wasn't disagreeable; as a truffle, a fail. The reportedly popular Truffe Thailandaise (lemongrass- and maybe lime-scented coconut-milk ganache) was much better in terms of texture and especially flavour, though in no way chocolatey.

              Several bonbons, next. As a rule, the enrobages were unexceptional -- thicker, harder and waxier than ideal ("kind of like a commercial candy bar," said the fiendiest choco lover, "not in the same league as Le Maître Chocolatier's") though not devoid of chocolate flavour -- while the fillings ranged from meh to borderline wow ("better than Chloë's and thankfully less tame than LMC's"):
              - Habanos (mango and habanero), too mild-mannered, with no chile flavour or bite
              - Tourbillon (ivory ganache and candied ginger), better but a ginger shade of pale
              - Mango Lassi (mango milk ganache infused with mint and coriander) surprised with its authentic recreation of the favours of the drink. Fun.
              - Sel et Poivre (pepper-infused ganache topped with sea salt caramel), elegant.
              - A berry- or fruit-based filling (cassis?) that may not be listed on their website was intense and delicious. Sorry I can't recall which, since it was one of the best.
              - Caramel Séchuan (caramel infused with Sichuan peppercorns), the best of the bunch, good enough to merit a repeat visit.

              The rose-petal nougat was exquisite. The reportedly most popular chocolate, the Trois Ganaches, was sold out and won't be restocked until Tuesday.

              While none of these had us rolling on the floor (the Caramel Séchuan came close) and while there are certainly better chocolate shops in the city (let alone elsewhere), calling this the worst chocolate in the world is way out of line, either over-the-top hyperbole or a sign that the claimant has lived a blessed existence innocent of exposure to any number of confections far more deserving of that title. A must-stop on a foodie's tour of Montreal? No way. To be avoided at all costs? No way.

              1. re: carswell
                moh RE: carswell Sep 7, 2009 09:10 AM

                "calling this the worst chocolate in the world is way out of line, either over-the-top hyperbole or a sign that the claimant has lived a blessed existence innocent of exposure to any number of confections far more deserving of that title."

                I think I still have a super old box of "Quality Street" chocolates sitting under some books in the study. I suspect it would be in the running for that title. I am happy to donate it to the cause! Once you've had this chocolate, everything else will seem like ambrosia....

            2. hala RE: dparallax Sep 4, 2009 02:08 PM

              Have you tried maitre chocolatier on sherbrook and guy? That's a nice place to get chocolate:) No wax taste at all.

              I have that problem with a lot of places, chocolate that people think is great tastes like wax to me because it has corn syrup or it has some of that fake cocoa butter that also tastes like wax, so, i totoally understand.

              1. f
                foodluvr RE: dparallax Sep 7, 2009 07:54 AM

                If you want to try absolutely amazing chocolate - go to Divine Chocolate on Crescent street, OMG you will not be disappointed - fantastic! They are handmade chocolates, it is a delight to just walk into the shop - you will not be disappointed if you are a chocolate lover - Oh and if you like orange and chocolate the dark chocolate cover orange rinds are amazing.

                2 Replies
                1. re: foodluvr
                  wilmagrace RE: foodluvr Sep 7, 2009 11:14 AM

                  was that the one like a little cafe with tables, just below museum?

                  1. re: wilmagrace
                    foodluvr RE: wilmagrace Sep 9, 2009 07:39 AM

                    Yes it is, they also have ice cream in the summer which is delightful!

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