Following an office taste test of this chocolate salami from Langley-based Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store, I had to declare this confection “dangerously addictive.” A classic and popular Italian and Portuguese dessert, chocolate salami looks like the regular version, but contains no meat and instead is filled with chocolate, almonds and pistachios combined with hints of sweet and tangy orange rind and dried cherries. Slice and serve as part of an after-dinner dessert platter or alongside a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate. Visit wellseasoned.ca.
Here’s a way to not only enjoy your favourite holiday chocolates, but also feel good about your choice. Purdys Chocolatiers uses only 100 per cent sustainable cocoa, which helps support farmers, their cocoa co-ops and communities. And it’s local — Purdys Chocolates launched on Robson Street right here in Vancouver in 1907, before relocating to West Seventh Avenue in 1949. In was in 1982, the year of Purdys 75th anniversary, that the factory moved into the former Canada Dry plant on Kingsway St., where it remains today.
Good Earth Gingerbread Families
From now until Dec. 31, Good Earth Coffeehouse will donate $1 from each gingerbread family purchased to a local foodbank. As well, Good Earth Coffeehouse locations are accepting non-perishable food donations, which will also be donated to area food banks. Good Earth says the Gingerbread Family Program is their way of helping families who use the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Visit goodearthcoffeehouse.com.
Teapigs limited edition mugs and tea
Vancouver’s Monika Hibbs and Toronto’s Alyssa Garrison have each designed a holiday mug, which when ordered online, comes with a pack of Teapigs holiday-themed tea, including Chocolate Flake and Rooibos Crème Brûlée. Visit teapigs.ca.
Teapigs limited edition mugs and specialty teas make a great gift for the tea lover
Another local option when it comes to buying treats this year is Delta-based Brockmann’s Chocolates. The Brockmann family, which has been creating delicious chocolate recipes for more than 80 years, is celebrating 30 years of chocolate making in Canada with the release of two new truffle flavours — salted caramel and dark sea salt truffles. The family-run business, which now includes a third generation of chocolatiers, is still guided by Willy Brockmann’s commitment to quality, using only the freshest, tastiest ingredients in everything they produce. Visit brockmannchocolate.com.
Books for foodies
Vancouver perennial favourite CinCin Ristorante + Bar celebrated its 25th anniversary this year with the release of a beautifully-photographed book, Cin Cin Wood-fired Cucina. And there’s no need to feel intimidated — CinCin chef Andrew Richardson created and wrote the recipes specifically with the home cook in mind. This book is a keeper. Visit cincin.net.
Chef James Walt from world-renowned Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar has also created and compiled recipes designed for the home cook in a gorgeous book, Araxi: Roots to Shoots Farm Fresh Recipes. Among its many awards and accolades, this Whistler-based restaurant was also named best restaurant in Canada by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Visit araxi.com.
It’s suspected that with continued climate change, the Okanagan and Similkameen regions will eventually surpass world-famous Napa Valley when it comes to wine production. But with so many wineries opening across the province, it’s easy to be confused about B.C. wines. And that’s where Rachel von Sturmer comes in with her definitive guide to the wines of these regions, Winetripping: Your Guide to the Best Wineries of British Columbia,complete with easy to navigate descriptions, photos, addresses and contact information. Visit winetripping.ca.
Chef Andrew Richardson has created recipes he promises will be a breeze for the home cook
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