The chocolate eldorado is in Hochelaga

Chocolate Eldorado is in Hochelaga


In my opinion, the world is divided in two: sugar bugs on one side and salty teeth on the other. I belong to the second category, except when it comes to chocolate. I cook very few desserts in a year, but I always have a variety of chocolates in my cupboard and fail miserably to eat just one square.

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It was my friend Mike who put me on the trail of Qantu. A pearl of Peru was in “ Hochelag’ ” and I was completely unaware of it?! I quickly took the phone book (i.e. Instagram), looked up Qantu and called to find out the closing time. Elfi Maldonado, the co-owner, answered me in a sprightly voice “Come on, we’re waiting for you! ”

The purity

Let it be said, Elfi Maldonado and her husband, Maxime Simard, also a chocolate maker, were not awarded gold and silver medals for nothing. They offer a shopping experience worthy of their wonderful product, awarded in June 2017 at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London. First, the chocolate factory is a small temple that showcases Qantu delicacies. Thin wooden shelves attached to the walls display all varieties of chocolate bars. Packaging and Unboxingare worthy of an Apple experience. The illustrations on the packaging are works in themselves. And the packaging is an envelope that opens, closes and is easy to store, if you want to stretch out the pleasure! If you want to order those chocolate bars online and need them to be shipped in your location, you can refer to sites such as MyUSAddress website.

Elfi Maldonado and her husband, Maxime Simard.

Let’s get serious

Elfi Maldonado and Maxime made me taste the cherry and plum flavored Morropon, an experience akin to that of a wine tasting. We discover a grand cru, then another and another. It’s as if, rather than buying wine at the grocery store, we went to the SAQ Signature. I was delirious with enthusiasm for their chocolate made with our Quebec maple and fleur de sel from Peru. And I had my first experience of 100% cocoa dark chocolate. There is not just one to taste, but many.

Maras in the valley of Sagrado de Cusco, where the couple buys the salt for their maple and fleur de sel chocolates.

Hero’s work

It’s Elfi who has the nose, the nose. She jokingly tells me that she should insure it. She’s not wrong. It is she who, during their travels, unearths the unique and fabulous cocoa beans. She has a flair for finding treasures that sometimes will only ever exist in small quantities, but she imports them anyway. These tablets are part of the Première fois collection: there will never be another one. Maxime is the meticulous with golden patience. Perfect manufacturing comes from him. They are also committed to doing direct trade and buying without an agent or intermediary. They go every year to meet the Peruvian producers, who have become friends of the couple. Since the transaction is done without an intermediary, they can pay them well. At Qantu, we are dealing with chocolates made from ancestral, organic and fair trade cocoa beans. For real.

Elfi Maldonado with two producers at Villa Virgen, Peru.

The visit of the factory

The punch of this experience is that on Saturdays, you can visit the factory. All you have to do is buy your ticket on the Qantu website, which also offers a discount on chocolates, which cost from $10 a bar to $50 (for the so-called Le Trésor). We discover how chocolate is made, from the cocoa bean to the chocolate bar, and how two young travelers who met ten years ago saw their passion for cocoa change their lives.

Alex’s visit to the Qantu factory.