Dating Chocolate... Again
This post is not sponsored/paid for.
Ingredient labels have become my best and worst friend.
I love the hunt of reading label after label, comparing ingredients, serving sizes and price per gram. Yes, I get THAT nerdy.
It’s all fine and dandy until I realize that what I’m searching for doesn’t exist (Cue U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For). Especially, when it involves my favourite food — chocolate.
A few months ago, I found myself staring at grocery store shelves with 9,000,000 types of chocolate bars and candies, then walking away with nothing in hand to satisfy my craving. At the time, I was dairy-free and sugar-free, and every chocolate I looked at contained one or both ingredients. Even the organic, non-GMO, fancy-ass $9 bars had some sort of added sugar or milk. I would leave feeling defeated because of chronic migraine, I couldn’t eat my favourite food any more.
When you have a chronic illness, losing one more things that you love makes life just that much more dim.
But as the saying goes, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. And my tunnel led me straight to Calgary’s First Date Confections and its creator, Tatiana.
Our meeting seems serendipitous. Like me, Tatiana has faced health conditions and has devoted herself full-time to being a health warrior. On different timelines, we’ve both faced changing diets, cutting out food groups and have developed new relationships to food and our bodies. But knowing that a body only heals when its soul and mind are happy too, we both have found a place of serenity in the kitchen. While she crafts deliciously decadent chocolates to bring her comfort, I write about food to do the same.
Tatiana’s hand-whisked chocolates are a gift to those of us with dietary challenges due to health conditions. They are made without nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and refined sugar, and can be further customized to suit your own dietary needs.
Now I bet you’re wondering what they ARE made of. First Dates get their name from one of their main ingredients, medjool dates. The sweetness from the dates is combined with cacao butter, sunflower seed butter, virgin coconut oil, 85% cacao chocolate, raw honey, vanilla bean, and sea salt. All of the ingredients are carefully sourced by Tatiana to ensure their quality and purity. Then comes the really fun part— the spices.
I was amazed by the complexity of flavours Tatiana has been able to bring to her chocolates. First Dates' original flavours — lucuma caramel vanilla, matcha, sweet Curry turmeric, and carob ganache — are carefully crafted so not to overwhelm your senses but let you taste each individual spice. While other companies might artificially enhance a chocolate’s flavour or overwhelm your senses with sugar, First Date Confections let the spices, dates and chocolate mesh delicately over your palate.
I also fell in love with First Date Confections' newest collection – the Coffee Dates. Made with infusions of fair-trade and organic coffee beans from Calgary’s Blackbird Cold Brew Co., these “dates” are my new favourite pick-me-up. Both the latte and mocha flavours will be my summer go-to.
And, luckily for me, my acupuncturist and naturopath are just a plus-15 away from Vitality Tap where you can pick up your First Date Confections orders or try some from the shelves.
Tatiana — Expect another order from me this week ;-)
Place your order or chat with Tatiana about creating a custom order and catering at www.firstdateconfectionary.com.