mont blanc pen deals Thomas Haas kitchen kicks into high gear for the holidays
Looking at the immaculate chocolate holiday sculptures that populate the Thomas Haas shop down on Harbourside Drive, their precise contour and ingenious composition pointing to a level of unmatched sophistication and artistry, I have to wonder if it’s lonely at the top.
Haas has earned a list of awards long enough to fill several Dish columns and his reputation for excellence in confection is bound to be a source of pride, but this level of recognition must surely be attended by a degree of isolation, no? When your work is the benchmark against which an industry is measured, when every new product is met with an expectation to outdo the last, and when the standards of your work are so high that any petty flaw that does escape your gaze is met with disproportionate ire, you must feel removed from the relative normalcy enjoyed by others.
And yet, year in and year out, Haas and his team continue to maintain their status as the best confectioners in our city, possibly in our entire country. When my recent online pre order of various holiday goodies was presented to me in an elegant, matte red and dark brown bag with the words Thomas Haas emblazoned across the panels, I felt an involuntary flutter of eager anticipation of the delights that lay ahead, a Pavlovian response conditioned through the steady consumption of countless truffles and chocolates, cakes and croissants, macarons and jellies over the course of a decade and half or so.
But for all their panache and brand equity, Thomas Haas confections are still fundamentally delicious at their core. If Haas is the emperor, his clothes are legitimately conversation worthy and do not rely on some long abandoned foundation of authentic craft.
The holidays are a break neck busy time for Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates Patisserie and the lineups can be relentless. This is why the online ordering option is so appealing. I was able to select a small stollen (also available in large format), a bag of lemon sable cookies, chocolate sparkles to bake at home,
and a box of hazelnut crisp chocolates from the online menu, pay, and specify my preferred pickup day and time. I selected next morning pick up and was pleased to find my order awaiting me in a shop that was positively heaving with holiday customers.
Haas has a variety of Christmas themed creations available for online order in his 2017 Holiday Collection, including some stunning chocolate works of art like brightly coloured ornaments, tasty chocolate bark shaped like trees, chocolate Santas and Rocher treats. Yule logs, which come in eight unique flavours like Chestnut Mont Blanc, Champagne Truffle, and Matcha Yuzu, are available for pickup in store only on Dec. 23 and 24. The usual lineup of chocolates and daily baked goods are available during regular hours.
Haas’s famed stollen lived up to its reputation, the dense log of fruit heavy sweet bread boasting a subtle layer of fragrant marzipan. The traditional coating of sugar helped preserve the moisture of the stolen while adding sweetness to what is really an understated, non cloying, coffee friendly item. The sable (shortbread) cookies were astoundingly buttery, lifted elegantly with just hint of lemon, while the Hazelnut crisp chocolates, which come eight to a box, were delicious with a delicate airy texture but intense toasted nutty flavour. The bake them yourself Chocolate Sparkles were outrageous, little mounds of dough that were soft and chewy in the middle, with an airy lightness that seemed incongruous with their intense, deep chocolate character. My selection of Haas goodies was $53 online.