As article after article has pointed out--and as we ourselves have attested to in this very blog [see Will Work for Chocolate and chez les Chocolats de Chloe]--the chocolate-making scene in Montreal has really been making waves for the last few years. Montreal may not have its own secret society of chocolatiers the way Paris does (yet), but the culinary landscape of the city has been altered quite dramatically by a number of young chocolatiers (most of whom are women) who've introduced highly inventive, locally made, high-grade, and extremely delicious chocolates of all kinds to a market that had been dominated by conservative thinking and imported fare.
As part of an assortment of birthday gifts that I received from Michelle last Thursday, I found a box of chocolates made by Kareen, a colleague and friend of Michelle's at Les Chèvres/Le Chou. Montreal now has several tiers of chocolate production, from big patisseries to small boutiques, from large catering operations to small, artisanal caterers and chocolatiers. Kareen is representative of the latter. I opened the box and contained inside was an assortment of four different flavours of her chocolates: Meyer lemon, Café Praliné, Szechuan Pepper, and Ganache au Lait (clockwise from left in the photo above). They were all perfectly formed and beautifully decorated, and the flavors.... I'm still reeling. Thank you Michelle, and thank you Kareen.
[You can reach Kareen Grondin about her Fleur de Sel line of chocolates at firstname.lastname@example.org and (514) 792-6060.]