Time for a Friday tea and chocolate break! This week we’re hanging out with some lovely chocolate from Coppeneur. I spent a week in Calgary towards the end of April for work and after an early morning meeting my first day there, I found myself with a free afternoon.
When you visit a new city, it’s only polite to visit their chocolate shops. Really. I’m sure your mother taught you this. Look it up in an etiquette book.
So in the interests of being polite, I felt I really had to visit the little chocolate shop up the block from my hotel and I took one of my teammates with me. He took a ton of photos in the shop. I just lusted after chocolate and tried to decide the best way to spend my $20 bill.
Coppeneur Calgary is a family run shop – they sell a lot of Coppeneur product from Germany as well as a selection of other international chocolate. Their Canadian selection was lacking – just some Rogers & Soma chocolate. When the girl behind the counter said there were only two producers of chocolate in Canada I wasn’t sure if I understood what she meant. Off the top of my head I could think of Thomas Haas, Purdy’s, and so many artisanal makers like Cocoa Nymph.
Quite unintentionally, I realized after I got back to my hotel that everything I’d purchased was actually Coppeneur product. I snacked on the mini Date and Nougat bar before dinner that night but everything else made it home safe and sound in my suitcase 5 days later (is that willpower or what??)
Coppeneur Cuvee Maracuja & Bourbon Vanille Bar
The first bar I opened and photographed was the Cuvee Maracuja & Bourbon Vanille bar.
This was a lovely surprise. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate – I find it too sweet as I get older. But the bar itself was just so pretty I couldn’t resist buying it. In fact, the whole Cuvee line is gorgeous and I’m glad I let the pretty factor win me over. It has a very creamy texture and the dark chocolate (70%) swirled in adds a nice cocoa-y flavour to offset the sweetness of the white chocolate. The dried passion fruit bits add a sweet but tart pop of flavour that gives the bar something special. You have no worries about it being sickly sweet but you also don’t get that overpowering dark chocolate flavour. I also thought I tasted a little bit of citrus and after checking the ingredients, I was right. What I really didn’t notice was the bourbon flavour! But it is there as an added note. This is quite the complex bar of chocolate.
You don’t see the imprinted side when you pick the bar up – the flat side with the passion fruit bits is what you see through the packaging so I was pleasantly surprised to see the molded side when I opened it up. I was also very happy to find out that Coppeneur Calgary has an on-line shop so I can try some of the other bars in the Cuvee line (they ship to the US as well!)
A while back I posted about Soma Chocolate and how great it was photographing them in my hotel room with all the white light. Calgary was equally great. I’d originally planned to keep everything until I got home and then photograph it there but, I really wanted to try that Date & Nougat bar and while I pondered this, I realized “hey, I have white hotel room with a giant window”. So I shot these all around 6pm in my hotel
Never underestimate your surroundings and when you find yourself with great light, find a way to use it. Hotels often have privacy sheers which are, like, the world’s best diffusor e-VER! <–valley girl voice. With so many hotels going the route of white duvets and pillows – which are terrible for people like me, who have a tendency to spill whatever they are eating or drinking, but wonderful for photography, make use of them if you can! Here’s my makeshift studio, proving once again, it’s only what’s in the frame that matters.
Freak Lunchbox – Calgary
I also (again, in the interests of being polite in a strange city) had to visit a candy store – one of the fellas on my team had stocked up on his first afternoon in town and when I saw his haul, I insisted he take me there before we finished up. Freak Lunchbox. I wish I had pictures but the candy disappeared faster than you can chew a fuzzy peach. DO NOT TAKE CANDY ON THE PLANE WITH YOU. You won’t have any left when you reach your destination.
What an awesome place – every penny candy you ever had as a kid is on display in bulk bins and some you’ve never seen Pick up a plastic bag and fill to your heart and childhood’s content. I even found sour cherries and orange Aeros. And psychedelic butterflies. The shop was covered in great original art (no photos allowed though). Freak Lunchbox… PLEASE come to Vancouver.
Be sure to stop by next week when I have part 2 for you in my restaurant food photography series!