There are a few more reasons the Vancouver chocolate scene is sweet following the announcement of the 2015 awards from the International Chocolate Salon. Among the winners is Vancouver’s own Mink, who earned Gold in the Milk Chocolate Bar category for their creation, Taj Masala.
The Taj Masala earned a few nods, in fact, thanks to the tasty impression it left with the judges–a panel of food writers, cookbook authors, and other culinary minds–including four silver medals for Best Ingredient Combinations, Best Taste, Best Texture and Best Packaging, as well as two bronze medals in the categories of Most Unique and Best Graphic Design.
Mink’s Marc Lieberman, who is known for his bold flavours and daring chocolate concepts (crickets in your hot chocolate, anyone?), says the Taj Masala originates from the inspiration he draws living in Vancouver’s Little India area. The bar features notes of spices like cinnamon cardamom, pepper, clove, ginger and turmeric. “Fragrant, pungent and aromatic, this unique blend of Indian spices tempered with our smooth, not-too-sweet 38% milk chocolate makes this bar a perennial favorite for all who seek a different chocolate experience,” reads the description on Mink’s site. The Taj Masala will set you back $6.50.
Having one of the world’s best chocolate bars is getting to be a habit for Liberman and Mink; in 2014 his Mermaid’s Choice won “Top Chocolate Bar” at the same event.
Mink, which also won awards for their Tell ‘Em Trixie Sent Ya For Toffee With Almonds, is one of three Vancouver chocolatiers to win International Chocolate Salon awards. Gem Chocolates took home several awards for their caramels and a mixed chocolate bar, while Wim Tas of ChocolaTas was named Top Artisanal Chocolatier and Most Gifted Chocolatier, and they brought home numerous awards for Bridal chocolates, white chocolate, and caramels.