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Viewing 30 of 30 Results
1907: The Year Things Got Sweet
It's Canada's 150th birthday this year! And it's our 110th birthday!We figured we'd celebrate with chocolate (always chocolate) and take a look back at some sweet moments in our Purdys history.First up, 1907 AKA the beginning.Purdys' founder, Richard Carmon Purdy, was originally from London, Ontario. Born on January 20, 1878, he moved out west to Vancouver some time in the early 1900s.He was also a barber by trade, according to the 1901 Canadian Census.We're not sure if he was a good barber but he had a real passion and talent for chocolate-making.So in 1907, he traded shaving cream for chocolate shavings.He sold his homemade chocolates on the streets of Vancouver and pretty soon after, he saw the need for an actual chocolate shop to meet the demands of his increasing fan base.That original shop was at 915 Robson Street, in an area of Vancouver that was quickly becoming the heart of the downtown shopping district.And the rest is sweet, sweet history.Want a taste of that history? Get it with Vanilla Caramels, crafted from an original 1907 recipe.You can find Vanilla Caramels on their own in the Chocolate Case or in our Caramel Assortment. If you like, you can request a custom pack of just Vanilla Caramels, whether you're ordering online or in a shop, or just enjoy some other incredible caramels with them. Either/or, you can't go wrong.Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels are also crafted from the same OG 1907 recipe.Isn't learning about history just tasty?Next up, we're going back to 1939. And cows. Oh, yeah, it's a good story.
1939: The Year We Bought a Farm
As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline. The year is 1939. It’s the start of World War II and rations mean that cream and butter are in short supply.Hugh Forrester, then-owner at Purdys Chocolatier, came up with a pretty sweet workaround to the rations—by purchasing a dairy farm with 20 cows in Ladner, BC (which is about 40 minutes outside of Vancouver). Throughout the war, Purdys' chocolatiers and candy makers had fresh cream and butter daily from this farm to craft favourites that are still made today, like any of our Creams. But WWII didn’t just mean rations; it also meant supply restrictions, which meant that Purdys shops sold out of chocolates very quickly. Each day during the war, the shops would open at exactly noon and customers could only purchase one pound of chocolates each. There were line-ups around the block, and we usually sold out of chocolates within half an hour of opening.Evelyn Powell, a Purdys fan who lived in Edmonton during WWII and came to Vancouver with her friend on a mission to find lumber (as Alberta was experiencing a lumber shortage at the time), remembers: “One day we saw a line-up on Granville Street. In those days, when you saw a line-up, you got into it. If you didn’t need what was offered, someone you knew did.‘What is on,’ we asked. No one knew. As the line moved on, people came by waving their parcels. ‘Chocolates’, they smiled. ‘Purdys chocolates, in boxes.’ We let out a scream. We hadn’t seen a box of chocolates in months! We each got a box, and went back to Purdys every day and stood in the line-up.When we went back to Edmonton, it was with seven boxes each and some lumber. We were really proud of ourselves.” And the farm with 20 cows in Ladner? It got sold after the war ended in 1945.Next up, we’re time travelling to the 60s. Specifically 1963, which is when milk chocolate became a thing at Purdys.
1963: The Year We Got Milk (Chocolate)
As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline. In 1993, American advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners came up with the now-iconic “Got milk” slogan for the dairy industry, which is said to be the most remembered tagline ever in the beverage industry.But that’s not where our story starts. We’re going back 30 years earlier, to 1963, when Purdys customers were saying ‘got milk chocolate’? The answer was no, actually. Purdys chocolates were crafted using only dark chocolate until Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys Chocolatier, introduced milk chocolate to our lineup that same year. Already popular in Eastern Canada, milk chocolate proved to be a very, ahem, sweet idea. Milk chocolate is typically made from the same ingredients as dark chocolate (cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar, soya lecithin—an emulsifier—and vanillin, an extract of the vanilla bean) and one extra ingredient: milk. The percentage of cocoa powder and cocoa butter also makes a difference. Dark chocolate generally has a higher percentage of both, often giving it more of a bittersweet taste. Ghana, one of our Single Origin Bars, has a 45% cocoa content, so it’s often described as a deeper milk chocolate.And, of course, we had to take our “regular” milk chocolate even further—ours is actually a special blend of milk, dark and white chocolate together to create a memorable, uniquely Purdys taste.What’s next in our time-travel itinerary? The 80s and ice cream (baby).
2014: The Year We Switched to 100% Sustainable Cocoa
As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline. Three years ago, in 2014, we switched to 100% sustainable cocoa. That means that everything we craft at Purdys helps support our cocoa farmer partners through community and farming improvements. While creating an icon, introducing an original, adding milk chocolate to our lineup, buying a farm or trading shaving cream for chocolate shavings are all very sweet moments in our Purdys history, we knew we wanted to end our 110th birthday celebration with what we think is the most important one: switching to 100% sustainable cocoa. For Purdys, sustainable cocoa means helping to improve the lives of our cocoa farmer partners while protecting the environment today and for future generations.For example, our Sustainable Cocoa Program has helped directly contribute to these improvements and special programs in rural cocoa-growing communities: • The expansion or new construction of 6 rural primary schools• The distribution of 675 school kits (i.e. pencils, notebooks)• 9 new primary classrooms, including desks, benches, blackboards and solar panels (for lighting) • 28 new cocoa tree nurseries, generating over 300,000 quality seedlings for farmers to start new cocoa plots or expand their farms• An entrepreneurship program for 200 women cocoa farmers• A special leadership training program attended by 188 women cocoa farmers Peter Higgins, our President and Chocolate Scientist, has personally visited some of the co-ops to which our cocoa farmers belong—and witnessed firsthand the positive impact of our Sustainable Cocoa Program. Peter is also the narrator of our This Bean sustainable cocoa video, which shows you how a single cocoa bean does more than make delicious chocolate. It’s a great summary of what our Sustainable Cocoa Program is all about. Just watch:See?And if you’d like to read more on the two pillars that govern our Sustainable Cocoa Program, we’ve got plenty more facts, photos and videos for you. It's been great fun taking a look back at our 110-year history with you (who knew time travel was this sweet?). Thank you for taking the journey with us. And here's to another 110 years.
A Sizzling Combo of Ingredients: Introducing Cinnamon Sizzle
About this time last year, one of Purdys' longtime fans contacted us with an idea.Charleen, said fan, thought it would be "incredibly tasty" (her words) if we blended our famously creamy white chocolate with Cinnamon Hearts candy.She's right.Introducting Cinnamon Sizzle, white chocolate peppered with sizzling Cinnamon Hearts for a spicy sweetness that goes on and onnnn and onnnnnn.It turns out Cinnamon Hearts have actually been around for a while. There's a reference to "red cinnamon candies" in a recipe in the Evening Indepedent newspaper in Florida from 1929. Cinnamon Hearts, also known as Red Hots or by the generic name cinnamon imperials, were a huge favourite to use in applesauce recipes back in the day.It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that Cinnamon Hearts have always been associated with Valentine's Day.And what better to pair with Cinnamon Hearts than our sweet, creamy white chocolate? Usually the sweetest of all chocolates, white chocolate is made from cocoa butter. In the process of chocolate-making, cocoa is separated into cocoa liquor (also known as cocoa mass or unsweetened chocolate) and cocoa butter. Milk and dark chocolates are made with cocoa liquor and cocoa butter but white chocolate is made with just cocoa butter.Go on, try this sweet & spicy pairing for Valentine's day with that special person in your life...if you can find it in your heart to share.
c1985: The Time We Introduced an Original
As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline. In the mid-80s, Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys, received a tip from a mall manager who wanted ice cream sold in the mall. The manager didn’t want a separate business to sell the ice cream, instead looking for a confectionery shop already established in the mall to take it on.At the start, Purdys sold ice cream cones only—but Mr. Flavelle wanted to add another option: ice cream bars. So he took ice cream home, cut it into chunks and experimented with melted chocolate and different toppings until he found it.The Original.Vanilla ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and smothered in roasted almonds.Like so.You can get the Original at any Purdys shop (but not online, as it turns out you can’t easily fit an ice cream bar through a mail slot).Be sure to also try the Ultimate Ice Cream Bar (watch how it's made!), the Sprinkles Ice Cream Bar and the NEW Cookie Crunch Ice Cream Bar, which was inspired by the white chocolate Cookie Crunch BarBehold.Ice cream itself actually dates back to (at least) the 4th century B.C. and it’s believed to have been brought to Europe from China. Originally, it was ice blended with fruits, so more of a sorbet, but as people continued to experiment with flavours and ways to keep the ice cream frozen, it became what we now call ice cream.The ice cream bar was invented much, much later (in 1920) in the United States by Christian Kent Nelson, a confectionery shop owner originally from Gunstrup, Denmark. The story goes that a young customer in the shop couldn’t decide between a chocolate bar or an ice cream sandwich but only had enough money for one or the other.This gave Nelson the idea to create ice cream dipped in chocolate, and called it the “I-Scream Bar”. The name was changed to the Eskimo Bar a year later when Nelson went into partnership with chocolate maker Russell C. Stover. Where to next, time travellers? The 90s, and a certain chocolate with a lot of personality.
c1990: The Time We Created Hedgehogs, Yaaas
As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline. The internet has dubbed the 90s as the best decade ever.Probably because it was the decade when we created Hedgehogs.You can spot Hedgehogs in any Purdys shop by their distinctive box: a golden glorious triangle. We asked Brenda, who’s been with Purdys since 1985 (around the time we introduced an Original), about the design: “I worked together with Mr. Flavelle and the marketing manager at the time on the box itself and the Hedgehog logo. The idea was to have something stand out from the standard rectangular gift boxes. I remember getting really excited about the triangle idea when we talked about it. We knew we had a really great concept there.” The Hedgehog box definitely stands out—but so do the Hedgehogs.Each shell is creamy milk chocolate crafted from 100% sustainable cocoa. (At Christmas, Santa brings dark chocolate Mini Hedgehogs with him. Want to know when they’re coming this year? Get on our email list.)At the heart of each Hedgehog is a special hazelnut gianduja (pronounced jan-DOO-yah).Gianduja is made with finely milled hazelnuts, cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sugar. It was invented during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte (1804-1815) in the city of Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy.Cocoa was scarce during Napoleonic times, suffering from both high prices and supply issues. So chocolate makers in Turin got creative and added a local tree nut to the cocoa they had: the hazelnut, which grows in abundance in that region even today.In 1865 at the Turin Carnival, local chocolate company Caffarel had the Carnival’s favourite character, Gianduja, hand out these hazelnut chocolates (wrapped in foil) to carnival goers. And the name stuck. Hedgehogs aren’t the only chocolates at Purdys that feature gianduja. There’s the Salted Hazelnut Flake. And Turona, named after a 16th century Spanish confection. And the Coffee Crunch Mayan, the Peanut Butter Crunch Mayan and the Almond Butter Mayan, which you can find in our Favourites or Classics gift boxes or you can request a custom pack of all Mayan chocolates (just leave a note at checkout!).And now, for our last time-travel trip, we’re heading to 2014, when we switched to 100% sustainable cocoa.
Groovy, Baby: Check out Purdys’ fab take on Banoffee Pie
Keira Knightley’s character in the film Love Actually (like Banoffee Pie, it’s another British triumph) attempts to extend an olive branch to another character by way of tasty pastry.We’ve all been there, and Banoffee Pie is probably of the best ways to bribe someone—but you didn’t hear it from us.You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of Banoffee Pie recipes online and it’s now a dessert that’s famous worldwide.But what exactly is Banoffee Pie? Well, it’s an English dessert (hail, Britannia!) comprised of a crumb or pastry base, a toffee filling, and topped with fresh bananas and whipped cream. The pie is often garnished with additional caramel sauce or chocolate shavings and, if you’re feeling particularly sinful, custard or ice cream.Banoffee Pie (originally spelled Banoffi Pie) was invented in 1971 at The Hungry Monk Restaurant in East Sussex by chef Ian Dowding, with some help and encouragement from the restaurant’s owner Nigel Mackenzie.But back to our Banoffee, which packs just as much of a flavourful punch as the original.You can enjoy it on its own or as part of an utterly epic cookie sandwich:Ingredients:For cookie dough:1 cup butter1 cup sugar1 1/2 cups flour3/4 cup shredded coconut1 tsp baking soda1 tsp baking powder1/2 cup brown sugar1 egg1 1/4 cups oatmealFor filling:Purdys' Banoffee1 large bananaInstructions:Preheat oven at 350°FCream together butter and sugar.Add remaining cookie dough ingredients and mix until blended.Roll into 1 inch balls or use a scoop. Flatten dough slightly.Place on pan lined with parchment paper.Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.Once cookies are out of the oven, turn them over with a pair of tongs.Slice each Banoffee piece in half and place on one half of the cookies. The heat from the cookies should slightly melt the Banoffee. If not, warm cookies in microwave slightly.Slice banana onto the other half of the cookies.Squish the cookie sides together to make a Banana Banoffee sandwich!
J is for Jasmine, Joy and Justgiveittomenow
Hello world, we've just launched Jasmine Caramel, and it's a gorgeous piece both in looks and taste!Inside a creamy milk chocolate shell, you'll taste a lush liquid caramel that's just bursting with floral jasmine flavour.Each shell is speckled with naturally coloured cocoa butter, and you can read more about this incredibly cool process in our previous blog post: Into the Dome: Cocoa Butter Spraying Process.Jasmine Caramel was inspired by Songkran, the Thai New Year, and by its famous Water Festival where thousands of people bring on the new year with epic water fights.Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word that's literally translated as "astrological passage", which is another way of saying "transformation" or "change".In Thai culture, water symbolizes purification and it's used to wash away bad luck to start fresh for a new year.As for Jasmine, it's a hugely popular flavour in Thai desserts so it makes for a fitting tribute to Songkran—but it's also a piece that celebrates Spring (#nomoresnow), new things and the joy of chocolate.We're sure you'll agree when you try it.
Peanut Butter & Jelly, the Re(Invention) of a Classic
Have you ever wondered if there’s anything better than a peanut butter & jelly sandwich? How about Peanut Butter & Jelly chocolate? Chocolatier Rachel McKinley taste-tested lots of peanut butters and types of jellies and jams on her quest to create the chocolatier version of this childhood classic.For one, the texture of the peanut butter (smooth, crunchy, in-between?) plays a huge role in the mouthfeel of a chocolate. Crunchy peanut butter brought the exact flavour profile that Rachel wanted to achieve for the bottom layer of this piece. The peanut butter is blended with milk chocolate (from only 100% sustainable cocoa) into a gianduja (jan-DOO-yah). If you’re a Purdys fan, you’re already familiar with another type of gianduja in our runaway bestsellers, the Hedgehogs. And while grape jelly might be the traditional choice, Rachel paired the crunchy peanut butter ganache with a melt-in-your-mouth raspberry pate de fruit (the elevated French version of a fruit jelly). Wrap it in creamy milk chocolate and you’ve got yourself the makings of a soon-to-be iconic chocolate.The inspiration for our PB&J piece is naturally the peanut butter & jelly sandwich. The first known reference to PB&J is in the Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics, authored by Julia Davis Chandler, in 1901. Here’s the excerpt: “For variety, some day try making little sandwiches, or bread fingers, of three very thin layers of bread and two of filling, one of peanut paste, whatever brand you prefer, and currant or crab-apple jelly for the other.”But peanut butter & jelly sandwiches became popular a bit later, starting with the Great Depression in 1929.Peanut butter is high in protein and makes for a filling meal, which was especially helpful for soldiers in World War II. Jelly, bread and peanut butter were staple ingredients in war rations and the peanut butter & jelly sandwich became a popular meal, especially with American soldiers. After the war ended in 1945, the soldiers brought their love of PB&J sandwiches home and it soon became a household staple. And now there’s something even better than a PB&J sandwich. Peanut Butter & Jelly chocolates are available in all Purdys shops and online at purdys.com.
Polar Bears, Chocolates & Ice Cream, Oh My!
We’re setting up shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba at St. Vital Centre! #PurdysinthePeg. It’s a special occasion, and that calls for a few special celebratory things.Like if you’re one of the first 100 people in line on Saturday, Aug 26th (we open at 9:30am), you get a free box of some of our best-loved chocolates, all crafted from only 100% sustainable cocoa.And that day, it’s also buy 1, get 1 free on Original Ice Cream Bars.And we also have the exclusive launch of White Spruce: a dark chocolate ganache, icy fresh peppermint and the bright herbal flavour of white spruce together in a dark chocolate shell speckled with naturally coloured cocoa butter. (Not in Winnipeg? Don’t worry, White Spruce is coming to all Purdys shops soon and we’ll shout it from the treetops when it’s available.)Chocolatier Rachel McKinley, who created White Spruce, actually hails from Stonewall, Manitoba (about 25 kms from Winnipeg). She originally had plans for a career in medicine (just like Peter Higgins, President & Chocolate Scientist at Purdys Chocolatier). But one winter, she started personally fundraising with the goal of selling a couple hundred truffles for $1 each to friends and friends-of-friends. She sold 3,000 truffles and picked a new career. Rachel went on to study at Ecole Chocolat, first in their online program and then through several internships across North America, then at the Barry Callebaut Academy in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, where she apprenticed with Master Chocolatier Julian Rose.In 2006, Rachel moved to Vancouver and joined the faculty of her alma mater Ecole Chocolat and journeyed with other chocolatiers to France and Italy to study the art of chocolate-making.And on Saturday, August 26th, Rachel will be live-sculpting a 3 ft. tall polar bear out of chocolate. Follow along on Instagram for updates and photos.
Put on your baking hats, it's World Baking Day!
It's World Baking Day today!That's a whole entire day dedicated to cookies! crumbles! pies! shortbread! cheesecake!It's also exactly 1 month and 1 day to Father's Day, so we thought we'd do something for World Baking Day and create a recipe that's a cool nod to dads everywhere.Enter Shawn Taylor, Culinary Advisor (and Photographer!) at Purdys Chocolatier. As Culinary Advisor, Shawn has created or collaborated on hundreds of both savoury and sweet recipes for Purdys, either online at purdys.com or for our special eBook collections.And as Photographer at Purdys, Shawn has also styled and shot every single one of your favourite chocolates. We know, we know, it's a sweet job and somebody's gotta do it.Shawn (that's him in the photo with his son) is the father of two impossibly adorable children, and he took inspiration from them: "I’m really into baking and cooking, and I love showing my kids how you get to enjoy something you made yourself and how it’s easy to work with chocolate when you follow the steps."Licorice Caramel Shortbread SquaresIngredients:2/3 cup + 1 tbps butter1/4 cup sugar1 1/4 cup flour, sifted10 Purdys Licorice Caramels4 Purdys Vanilla Caramels4 tbsp cream100 g Purdys Classic Dark ChocolateInstructions:Preheat oven to 350°F.Prepare a 9 inch square pan with cooking oil or line with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, use a mixer to cream 2/3 cup butter and sugar together until fluffy.Sift flour and stir it into creamed butter until mixture is evenly crumbly. Be careful not to over mix or shortbread will become tough.Press into a 9 inch square pan and bake for 20 minutes. When finished, set aside to cool.Cut caramels into quarters and melt in saucepan with cream on medium heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Be careful not to burn the mixture as the chocolate will melt quickly but the caramel will need another 1-2 minutes to melt. Continue stirring until emulsified, for another 2-3 minutes.Spread caramel onto cooled shortbread and set aside to cool.Chop dark chocolate into small pieces and melt in heatproof bowl in microwave for 20 seconds at a time until melted. Stir in 1 tbsp butter until mixture is smooth and silky.With a spoon, drizzle the chocolate on top of the caramel layer and chill for 20 minutes in fridge or for 1 hour at room temperature.Cut into 2 inch squares to serve.You can also grab the printable version of this recipe.
You’ve never had grilled pineapple like this before!
Once again, our chocolatiers have come up with a winning recipe.Yes, our chocolatiers don’t just invent incredible chocolates, they also invent the recipes to go with them. It’s a talent. The most recent recipe we’ve come up with is our Grilled Pineapple with Tequila Chili Pepper Chocolate Sauce. It’s a bit of a mouthful to say but you can bet it’s a mouthful to enjoy!In fact, it’s the kind of recipe that’ll make you want to buy an indoor grill (if you don’t already have one) and make this recipe pretty much every weekend (why not?).Here’s the recipe to make and share: 1. Peel and slice one whole pineapple into quarter inch rounds.2. On barbecue heated to high, grill pineapple slices for about 5 minutes on each side.3. Whisk together 1/4 whipping cream, 6 pieces of Chili Pepper chocolate, 1 oz of orange juice and 2 oz of tequila until melted and smoothly blended together.4. Drizzle sauce over grilled pineapple and done!