5879 Sherbrooke O.
Bus: STM 105, 162, 420
Visit: November 28, 2012
Ask any carnivore and they’ll tell you that one thing makes the world go round, bacon. There are some people who will go to great lengths to seek out any source of bacon around, regardless of what obstacles are in the way. Luckily, those Montrealers who have a thing for bacon won’t have to look far for a unusual source of bacon. The place in question is unique in its own way and that place is called Briimstone Chocolates & Fudge.
Briimstone has been around the Montreal scene for the last 3 years. I first noticed their appearance a few months back when they followed me on Twitter. After doing a little bit of browsing on their Facebook page, I made a very fortunate discovery that really put them on my radar.
Last year, I was told of a bacon chocolate bar. The person who mentioned it to me also informed me that it was only available in Toronto. My recent trip to Toronto was supposed to include a side trek to find that chocolate bar, but all that changed when I got wind of what Briimstone had. It turned out that the bar in question was available in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, home of many great iconic institutions. The next thing to figure out was when to strike it rich and purchase what I couldn’t go further without.
Well, my recent trip to Cosmos was one that I was really looking forward to. In reality, this is how the story of my visit to Briimstone began. On my way to the restaurant, I got off the bus right in front of the chocolate store. I knew that Briimstone was in the area, but it surprised me to see in on my way to Cosmos. So, innocently, at this point, I decided to take a picture of the storefront as a reminder so that I wouldn’t forget. As I was taking a moment to see when the store opened, I noticed that the sign for the opening hours was quite unusual. Since I like unusual things, I took a picture of that too.
If we fast forward past my meal at Cosmos, I was walking on my way back, intending on actually entering the store. Before I could do that, I was on my phone trying to figure out if I had the time to actually go because I wanted to catch the express bus back downtown. Well, as I was doing that, I noticed two individuals motioning for me to come over. They were standing at the entrance of Briimstone. If it were anyone else, I probably would’ve ignored it and been on my way. But, I actually wanted to see the store and didn’t want to burn a bridge that fast.
Cautiously and with a bit of apprehension, I walked in. Well, this is the point where I want to say that the police was called and a big brouhaha was underway, but nothing of that sort happened. What happened next was actually quite pleasant and a true highlight of 2012 for me. It turned out that someone from a newspaper was supposed to come around to cover Briimstone for an article. Since I was “seen” taking pictures, they owner of the store figured it was me. To make sure that the tension dissipated, I actually introduced myself and what it is I do, something I try in earnest to avoid doing. Since we follow each other on Twitter, it made things a lot easier from there on out.
I wished I could have stayed a little longer than I did, but what I was able to learn from my short visit was quite interesting. The owner used to involved in the fast paced world of corporations and traded that in for something they can really have pride in doing. Three years ago, they opened up shop and have slowly built a following, which is evident when Christmas time comes around. Things get so busy that cooking school students are recruited to do some of the menial labour when it comes to making chocolate and fudge. Outside of the products that Briimstone makes, there are a wide selections of chocolate bars brought in from various parts of the world.
This brings me up to the reason of my visit, the bacon chocolate bar. I was actually shocked to find out that the store didn’t carry it anymore. Due to some highly ridiculous pricing issues, it became unfeasible. But no one had to worry because a cheaper, better product was in stock that the owner claimed was just a good, even superior to the nameless bar that I already forgot about.
At this point, I was shown the bar that was supposed to be better. A chocopod, as it is called on the packaging, was also brought out and I was able to sample it. At that particular moment, I had a hard time tasting the bacon, but a real easy time getting that maple flavour. The thing is that bacon, in a lot of ways, is more of a subtle flavour. But, when it hits you, you can’t escape it.
For those of you who may be watching what you eat and still would like to have your bacon chocolate fix, please note that it is an incredible 60 calories. I just thought that some of you would be interested in knowing that.
After that point, and adding to the conversation we were having, I made my way to the cash to make sure that I paid for the maple bacon chocolate bar that I was intending of having later. I just wanted to note that I insisted on paying for the bar because I wasn’t in it for freebies. If it wasn’t for the “spotting,” I would have never actually introduced myself and that’s the way I go about doing most of my outings.
As a parting gift, I was given a piece of maple bacon fudge. I wasn’t about to refuse this offering, mostly because I would be insane to turn down anything bacon related. With that being said, I was on my way, anxiously awaiting to try the bacon chocolate bar.
On December 3, during my break, I had some time and decided to see what the piece of bacon fudge was all about. It didn’t really hit me a first, but the piece was huge. This is probably something that you’d be better off sharing with one or two people. Being brave or stupid, mostly stupid, I decided to have the entire piece in one sitting.
Before I go any further, I’m not a big fan of fudge. But, since there is a bacon in the piece, it’s something that I couldn’t pass up. Briimstone actually makes their own fudge and this happens to be something to be quite proud of.
With my first bite, you really get the taste of fudge right away. With a piece of this size, it is a bit overwhelming, so you would have to pace yourself. What also is very clear is that there are actual pieces of bacon in the piece and you can easily taste it as well. It’s not a subtle taste, but one that you can actually crunch on. For someone who isn’t immediately a fan of fudge, it’s not that big of a deal since there is so much more with the maple and bacon flavours all very much present. The only thing I’d recommend is having it in moderation.
A day later, on December 4, a mere 24 hours later, also during a break, I had the time to have the entire maple bacon chocolate bar. Usually, I’m not really into having 7 dollar chocolate bars and tend to prefer the almighty Kit Kat Chunky. With this being a bacon product, I could not resist trying this and I’m really glad I did.
This is a chocolate bar that was imported from elsewhere and created by a chef that I now would like to meet. Anyone who managed to combine anything with bacon is someone that I’d like to induct into the Bacon Hall of Fame, but that’s another story. For 7 dollars, it’s a worthy price to see what it’s like to have bacon and chocolate.
Upon first glance, it looks like any other chocolate bar that you have ever seen. What you really don’t know just yet is that there is something magical waiting on the inside.
Here is a closer view of the Chuao Chocolatier logo that was emblazoned on the bar itself.
For those of you who are really too curious, I decided to capture what the back of the bacon bar looks like. This chocolate bar, to me, is so memorable, that I don’t ever want to forget any aspect of it.
This is probably the most telling picture that can be taken of this chocolate bar. In this picture, you can actually see the pieces of bacon protruding through. This, for me, is the greatest sign of how good this has the potential of being.
Compared to the sample piece I had back in the store, this piece was a lot more bacon strong. The maple flavours were more subdued compared to that of the bacon pieces and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After having a few pieces, you can definitely tell it’s a bit salty, much like the taste of bacon. The chocolate surrounding it was also quite good, mostly because it was elevated by the bacon.
Before you read the next paragraph, I just want to mention that this might be a slight bit biased because of the warm welcome I received at Briimstone. However, I hope you do go down and see the store for yourself to make your own judgements. In the end, it’s not really my opinion that matters, its yours.
These days, the thing that people rarely do is find time and ways to treat themselves. Briimstone Chocolates & Fudge finds a way of bringing that to a community like N.D.G. I’m hoping, that in the coming years, more people will give attention to a shop with such a dedicated person at the helm. When a place or shop offers such an awesome bacon product like the maple bacon chocolate bar, what else can you ask for? I’m actually going to try to make another return visit to try something else I have my eye on, but that’s for the future. In the here and now, with the Christmas season underway, why don’t you wander into Briimstone and pick up something for your loved ones’ sweet tooths?