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Anna Tolazzi Artisanal Chocolates—Kitchener, Ontario

By Kat Tancock

Stop in Saturday mornings at the Kitchener Market, about a 90-minute drive from Toronto, and you’ll find a bustling hall packed with food, crafts and produce vendors that spills into the (covered) outdoors. Kitchener’s easy access to Ontario farms means an always-good selection of local produce. On my visit I found countless pounds of Ontario squash, apples, broccoli and other fall goodies.

But for something more unique, head indoors and up a small flight of stairs to the corner of the market building and the stall of Anna Tolazzi chocolates. Chocolatier Katharina Ortner creates organic, fair-trade truffles and bars with eclectic inspiration. Some truffle flavours are enhanced by the hyper-local: the Wilhelm Tell is made with market crabapples, the Kimono blends wild elderberry from Ortner’s own garden with sage and lemon in a dark ganache.

As for bars, flavours range from Canadiana (the Sugarbush bar mixes milk chocolate with roasted pecans and maple flakes) to the exotic (the Maharaja, a tamarind- and cinnamon-infused dark chocolate), all packaged in colourful wrappers based on vintage wallpaper patterns.

Fair warning: you may have trouble choosing—all told, Ortner has upwards of 300 varieties of chocolates.

If you’re picking up gifts, buy more than you think you need—the bars have a habit of becoming unwrapped.

Where to buy: Kitchener Market, Kitchener, Ontario; Saturdays, 7 am–2 pm {map}

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