I’m not much of a baker. I’d much rather leave it to the pros and whip up raw desserts that are much harder to mess up. But, in the absence of the prerequisite food processor or blender, our family has become smitten with a new vegan delight—dark chocolate. Just a few squares after dinner always seems to sate our sweet tooth. Though we generally avoid sugar, we only purchase dark chocolates that contain 70% or higher cocoa content, so the health benefits are evident and the sugar content is minimal. After months of trying different brands of vegan dark chocolates, our taste buds have become more sensitive to the subtle differences between them, and we recently discovered the freshest and tastiest of them all at Chocolat Garden in Ankara.
Handmade my Mr. Yusuf, a passionate chocolatier, the Chocolat Garden sells a variety of artisanal products like white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, organic dark chocolate, pralines and truffles. After importing cocoa from Ecuador or Madagascar, they are melted and blended in his very own shop’s kitchen. It wasn’t until meeting him that I discovered how most commercial chocolates use ordinary cocoa and add artificial coloring, flavoring, aromas, and hydrogenated oils to stretch their cheaper product. Mr. Yusuf does no such a thing. He only works with extra fine cocoa, blended with natural flavors and sugar, then molded and set in small batches. The taste of his rich delights are a testament to his commitment to quality.
Located up the road from Gordion Mall, he cites that recent events in Ankara have slowed down business. His work is challenging enough trying to educate his consumers about what sets his product apart from what is sold on the supermarket shelves. But once they’ve tasted his chocolates, they are hooked and eagerly ship boxes to loved ones across the city and country. His custom orders are prepared fresh and shipped by the next day. Instead of sending flowers or a cake for a special event, consider something healthier and tastier that everyone can enjoy– gourmet dark chocolate made by the best.
Note: Not all dark chocolate products are vegan, so be sure to state your dietary preference with your order.
With special thanks to Mr. Yusuf for hosting our visit. All opinions are our own.