Since I’m in yet another new place, one of the first things I decided to scope out was the chocolate scene. Turns out the charming little town of Stratford, Ontario (Canada) has three different chocolate shops, and no shortage of fun and non-American candy bars just ripe for the picking.
So I started with the first one I found, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I know this is a chain and it’s not indigenous to Canada. When I was in college there was one in the outlet mall about 20 minutes from my apartment. We’d always walk in when we went to the mall, but rarely bought anything as the prices were rather high and we were poor college students. Plus, even though I liked chocolate back then, I wasn’t nearly as discerning as I am now.
The smell wafting through the air outside the place was so heavenly. Like that damn toucan, I followed my nose right in the door. On my first trip (yes, I made two) I bought a cherry truffle, a pecan mogul, a maple walnut cream and a vanilla caramel. The chery truffle tasted a bit like the cheap boxed ones I used to get for Christmas presents as a kid. When I was 8, I loved them. They dripped with artificial cherry juice and were so sugary my teeth ached when I ate them. But I loved them. As an adult, I realized they were not really very good.
However, as an adult, I found Rocky Mountain’s non-marischino version a nice change. It was not super cherry flavored. It was more of a hint of cherry mixed into the creamy chocolate. It was subtle and grown up. I liked it.
The pecan mogul was much like a giant turtle, except that it had far too many nuts and not nearly enough caramel. I like turtles a lot and I figured this enormous one would be great. The thin layer of caramel didn’t do it for me. There had to be at least half a dozen pecans in the piece and although I love them, the taste was overpowering.
The maple walnut cream had an actual chunk of walnut in it. I am not a huge walnut fan and I thought it would be mixed into the chocolate, more of a flavor than a nut. Normally I wouldn’t have gotten it, but I figured in Canada, I should try something a bit more native. For some reason it seemed to have a flower essence to it. I’ve eaten several floral chocolates in the last few months, and this one reminded me a bit of one of those. I wasn’t really very fond of it and was glad it was a small piece.
My final chocolate was a rather large vanilla caramel. It didn’t really have much of a vanilla taste to it, but it was a thick caramel covered in chocolate. Chocolate covered caramels are one of my favorite types of candy. Usually I devour them. Once again, I got really excited about this piece because it was so large. The more the merrier, right? As it turns out though, it was a little too big. Even though it was room temperature, it was incredibly chewy. By the time I finished it, my jaw hurt a little. And the caramel wasn’t super flavorful, so I was a bit bored with it.
The one item I definitely wasn’t bored with though, was the caramel apple. One speciality of The Rocy Mountain Chocolate Factory seems to be their apples. They are quite a sight to behold. They have the standard caramel, one with nuts, one with generic m& m’s, a rocky road one and one with crushed Oreos. They also have designer flavors like s’mores which is full of chocolate, giant marshmallows and chunks of graham crackers all around it.
I stuck with the basic. I knew there wasn’t any way I could eat one of those monster apples. Despite being plain, it was delicious. The apple itself was green and tart. And really, really juicy. The caramel was thick and creamy. Combined it was amazing. Although it had no chocolate, it was the best treat I tasted at the place. Definitely worth going back for.
Overall, if I was to rate the chocolates at Rocky Mountain, I’d give them a 7/10 for taste, a 5/10 for presentation (they just looked like any old chocolate) and a 6/10 for price. I thought they were overpriced for their quality. The apple though, that gets an 9/10!