BY CINDY DEACHMAN
Imagine a thick, smooth, rich, deeply flavoured dark chocolate sauce. More like a ganache, really. Now imagine this incredible concoction made even more so with caramel. Yes, it can be had — at The Fresh Flower & Gift Basket Company on Albert Street. The boutique services the next-door Sheraton yet is completely independent, and local people make up 90 percent of its clientele. Selling flowers, umbrellas, gift baskets, and wine accessories, Fresh Flower has still made room for a small food section, with products not typically found in Ottawa. One shelf offers a line of caramel sauces — including the dark chocolate — made in small batches by a chocolate company in the village of Beloeil on Montreal’s South Shore. La Chocolaterie du Vieux Beloeil, run by Jean-François Fraser, is famous for its caramel spreads, with flavours that include fleur de sel, maple, and cappuccino. Meantime, Fresh Flower owner Karen Rothfels has come up with quite a few ways to enjoy the sauces, such as homemade doughnuts (sugar dredged, cinnamon and sugar dredged, and plain) dipped in a selection of caramels. Enliven the plate with raspberries. Of course, eating the caramel by the spoonful straight from the jar is also recommended (and encouraged). Drop by the shop Wednesdays at noon when Rothfels sets out food samples. $8/106 mL, $12/314 mL. The Fresh Flower & Gift Basket Company, 150 Albert St., 613-567-2431, www.freshflowerco.com.