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8 April 2012 / leggypeggy

Chocolate anyone?

From the Margaret River Chocolate Company

The Margaret River region of Western Australia is a food lover’s heaven.

We spent four days there—eating and drinking our way through some very special offerings. Highlights included two outstanding lunches at famous vineyards, and free tastings of superb wines and cheeses, as well as a variety of sensational game meats. I promise to share some of these gastronomic memories.

But because it’s Easter Sunday, I thought today’s priority had to be the chocolate makers.

We visited two—Gabriel Chocolate and the Margaret River Chocolate Company.

Gabriel Chocolate
Gabriel’s is particularly special. They are Western Australia’s first (and perhaps only) bean-to-bar chocolate maker. This means they start with raw cocoa beans and take them right through to a finished chocolate bar. Every day, they hand-sort the beans, then roast, winnow, grind, conch and temper in small batches to produce handmade chocolate bars. They also make luxurious chocolate soaps.

A proud and informative chocolate maker at Gabriel's

Gabriel’s works with chocolate sourced from the world’s top cacao bean regions—including Venezuela, Ghana, Java and Madagascar.

Poor John—who loves chocolate more than anyone I know—treated himself to the top-of-the-line bar. It’s made of beans sourced from Venezuela. It is dark chocolate, 85 per cent cacao, and A$12 for 85 grams (about 3 ounces).

Margaret River Chocolate Company
The next day, we visited The Margaret River Chocolate Company. It is a much bigger operation, and more into melting chocolate and then making it into confectionary products.

A bit of the huge array at the Margaret River Chocolate Company

I was gobsmacked by the sheer size of the shop (located almost in the middle of nowhere) and the overwhelming range of items it carries.

Poor John was delighted to learn that they were having an all-day Easter egg hunt. Within minutes, he found one of the tokens out in the garden, but when he took it in, he was disappointed to be told that the game was for kiddies only. The poor thing!

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4 Comments

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  1. mickeydownunder1 / Apr 8 2012 3:43 pm

    HAPPY EASTER too!
    Poor John, can only IMAGINE his dejected face too!
    They could have suggested it was open to children of all ages on the day!
    I would have given him a consolation sample chockie, HOPING it would make yours and Poor John’s day! 🙂

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    • leggypeggy / Apr 8 2012 11:14 pm

      No need to feel too sorry for Poor John. They had plenty of free samples — just no chocolate eggs for the Big Kids.

      Like

  2. lmo58 / Apr 9 2012 5:27 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    Happy Easter to you and John too. I’m really enjoying the blog and the photos. That sunrise at Streaky Bay was so beautiful. The cooking one is good too. I think I’ll be making the avocado frittata and fancy the author coming from Tilba Tilba. Talk about a local connection.

    I’m in love with Gabriel’s and the Margaret River Chocolate Company. The chocolate company’s shop is the biggest chocolate shop I’ve ever seen. It must have been very hard for John for find out that the hunt was for kids only. I’ve probably left it a bit late but, if you’re still in the vicinity of these amazing places, could you bring me back some chocolate please? I like all chocolate except if it contains mango. And, if you can do that, could you also bring some ginger chocolates for my friend, Barbara? Many thanks.

    I’ll reply again after a few more blogs. Drive carefully and enjoy.

    Love and best wishes
    Louise

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Apr 9 2012 5:59 pm

      Hi Louise — we are long gone from the land of chocolate, but I’ll make you some treats when I get home. By the way, the Margaret River Chocolate place was twice as big as the pic showed.

      Like

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