Koko Monk brings creative chocolates to the next level

From curry to blue cheese, you won't believe these flavour combinations.

Blue Cheese Chocolate
Photos by Kelly Jean Marion - follow her @kellyjean247 or MarionateOvernight.ca

Do you remember a chocolate flavour that combined blue cheese and pear? You would if you tasted it.

Cheese, curry and pear are just a few examples of the many “exotic” chocolates that chocolatier Paul Dincer is making and selling at his brand new retail shop in Kitsilano.

Koko Monk opened in February 2013 with no press releases, no ads and no marketing whatsoever. The first week or so was a bit slow as the shop is situated in a quieter area of Kitsilano with nearby SUKI’s and Ron Zalko's luring in a different clientele. That’s not to say that they can’t go hand-in-hand, just that these people have a specific motive and it may not be to indulge in artisan chocolates. These chocolates won’t help you get that beach body for sun bathing at Kits Beach, or help you grow healthy hair, but in reasonable portions they won’t necessarily hinder you from achieving either of these. Especially the hair thing – I’ve never head anything about chocolate inhibiting hair growth.

At $2.50 a pop, you may not be downing twelve a day anyway. The cost may seem high when thinking of small chocolates, but just as a macaron is an art, and how coffee or dinner prices increase by quality (if not based on brand) so too should chocolates. It also helps with portion control – I can get a bag of mini eggs and gobble them all up in ten minutes, or I can buy some artisan chocolates and savour every one, appreciating that fact that they aren’t factory made but rather hand-made.

And savour these chocolates I did. At a recent media “blind tasting” we couldn’t wolf them down even if we wanted to because Paul was watching us closely. He strictly enforced that we sucked on the chocolates rather than chewing them so as to fully experience all of the flavours and be taken on a journey with our taste buds. I got a few finger wags, but that’s because I’m the girl who chews suckers and tried to munch on Gobstoppers when I was younger.

Before we actually tasted any of the chocolates we were shown Paul's very first chocolate, "La Mer" inspired by Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and The Sea. Knowing that, you really can envision the rolling waves and the frothy whitecaps just by looking at the oddly shaped chocolate. It even apparently has a slightly briny taste from the sea salt (how appropriate) that adds to the watermelon flavour inside.

"When you develop the thematic of a chocolate you get the color, you get the form, then you get the taste."

The five chocolates that we sampled over the course of the night, while trying to guess the ingredients, were:

La Petite Amour  (4 for $9.50)

La Petite Amour

Lemongrass, mango, lime and maple - "new Canadian flavour" explains the maple leaf

Zentropy  (4 for $9.50)

Zentropy

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