Cornwall’s famous…chocolate?

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When you think of Cornwall’s cuisine, what do you picture? Fish, clotted cream, and pasties of course, maybe even the “earlies” potatoes from the west. However, local producers are branching out. We now have world-class sparkling wine from Cornish vineyards, tea grown near Truro, and a range of chocolate manufacturers giving a Cornish twist to this most popular bean.

Here is a guide to some of Cornwall’s entrepreneurial chocolatiers and chocolate makers. Some can be visited during your stay at The Cornwall Hotel, most of the chocolate can be bought from local shops and all can be ordered online.

Kernow Chocolate has been using luxurious Belgian chocolate for their delicious offerings since 2005. Based in St Eval in North Cornwall, this family-run company is a great example of how farms have diversified over the years. Its distinctive packaging featuring brightly coloured images of Cornwall is found in farm shops and delis across the county.

At Trenance Chocolate on The Lizard, visitors can do more than just buy chocolate – they can actually visit the small factory where it is also made. Situated on the road between picturesque Mullion and evocative Mullion Harbour, it’s a wonderful stop-off on a walk to boost your energy levels. Again, they source Belgian chocolate, but the Cornish influence comes out in the creative designs – engine houses, fish and shells all feature!

We all know that the beautiful St Ives has inspired artists for generations – but chocolatiers? I Should Coco in St Ives takes inspiration from the glorious harbour view through its workshop windows. Actually working with local artists, the chocolate here looks as good as it tastes. Lighthouses, whole oceans full of fish, boats, dolphins, pirates and mermaids – this is definitely Cornish coastal chocolate.

I Should Coco sources its honey, cream, fruit and sea salt locally. Pop along to their aromatic shop in Fore Street, St Ives, where their stunning creations are all made on site.

Raw Chocolate Pie runs its business from a farm outside of St Ives. This is a very different sort of chocolate, as it’s one that’s associated with health benefits. Eating the cacao bean while it’s still raw retains the nutrients destroyed through cooking. Dairy, gluten and sugar free – and therefore also guilt free, this is a great alternative to “normal” chocolate.

Chocolicious based in Demelza (yes, it is a place), specialises in truffles and produces exquisite little wedding favours. Its Cornish showstopper is clotted cream shortbread dipped in chocolate. Again, they are based on the family farm, everything is handmade, and as many local ingredients as possible are added to the Belgian chocolate. Look out for them at festivals and fetes across the South West.

The Chocolarder in Falmouth makes the most of its harbour town location by sourcing the beans directly from the growers and having them shipped over. They carry out the whole process from their factory, “Bean To Bar”. Many of us who have walked a coast path or down a Cornish lane in the summer, have remarked on how “coconutty” the gorse smells. At The Chocolarder, they’ve explored this idea further, developing “Wild Gorse Flower” flavoured chocolate, using flowers handpicked from the Cornish coast.

Who would have thought that there are so many diverse chocolatiers in such a small area? Cornish chocolate makes a great gift to take back “upcountry” after your stay here. Or of course, you could just eat your way through this selection of chocolate brands, and spend a little more time in our swimming pool to make up for it. Whatever your tastes, from raspberries to rum, we’re sure there will be something chocolately to tempt your taste buds.

And if you can’t quite bear to let go of the more traditional Cornish cuisine, Kernow Chocolate also sells a chocolate pasty.

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