Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nom, nom...Nutpatch Nougat...here I come!

You know how you go into a shop: to browse or maybe to buy something you want? You get served. The person serving you does their job. You walk out of the business and don’t give it another thought. You got what you wanted. End of transaction.

Then there’s the alternative…..you go into a shop, you’re not quite sure whether you’ll buy something or not but your reason tells you you’ll see how it goes and you’re going in with an open mind.

Rita, on Sunday, went into a sleazy-looking room tucked into the side of a service station in Kettering, which boasted, via a nondescript, hand-printed sign tied with string to the bottom of one of the petrol bowsers outside, in capital letters, proclaiming they sold the best chocolates, or words to that effect! “Probably they are selling out their cache of outdated Cadburys chokkies” Rita thought to herself, cynically!

Well, was SHE deserving of a slap in the face, or on the bottom, for such unkind thoughts!

Enter the true Kingdom of Chocolate Heaven, one and all!

In this remote little setting resides, finally, the outlet for John Zito’s Nutpatch Nougat products, which include THE most beautiful chocolates in the world! John has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this tiny outlet, and the results are there for all to see, hear, smell, taste and buy.

He has 3 chocolate tempering machines there, working their little automated butts off most of the time. He sells nougat, chocolates and his own hazelnut version (which is of WAY better quality) of Nutella, given that he grows the hazelnuts himself on his farm.

John Zito has been plying his Nutpatch trade for many years, but only opened the outlet at Kettering 7 weeks ago, just in time to get the local Christmas trade. He told me on Sunday that he had had three customers into the shop that day already who had received a box of his chocolates as Xmas presents, and had come to check out the shop for themselves! The minute you enter and see the huge selection of magnificent Belgian-style chocolates, you’ll never buy chocolates anywhere else again! They are absolute works of art, and capitalize on using as much local product as they can – for instance he has a Bruny Island strawberry chocolate range. Stunning to look at, and even better to taste!

And John is SO enthusiastic and keen about what he is doing, and how he does it, that he’ll take the time to demonstrate how his tempering machines work, and how he makes his truffles. He provides samples of the latest filling he is experimenting with in the kitchen there (I could taste a Baileys Irish Cream-flavour in one that I sampled). The experience of going to that shop will live with me forever, and I will always drive all the way from Hobart to Kettering to buy that special box of chocolates for those nearest and dearest to me, every time. Cadburys could well take a leaf out of his book and go back to their previous method of taking people round the factory to observe the chocolate-making process – but then again, when you have such a guy as John Zito at Kettering, don’t bother!

To shop there is an enlightened experience and I wholeheartedly recommend anyone who is remotely interested in a valuable and true experience of country-style generosity of spirit, and passionate enthusiasm for a product, and lifestyle, to head on down to Kettering. He opens all days except Wednesdays, at 10.00, but I would check that before I went. His mobile number is 0428 870 891.
Posted on by Rita


Deb C said...

Nutpatch is great and the lolly shop in the Bank Arcade Hobart used to stock them. First heard about him on the Candy Blog (http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/nutpatch_nougats) which covers sweet bites from all over the world and the blogger raves about them (Superb rating). Very lovely nougat.

Tassie5 said...

Sounds I definitely have to stop there the next time I pass Kettering. Is it next to Rosies Gluten Free Cafe?

Graham Bannister said...

One good link deserves another.

Rita said...

Thanks Deb C. Glad you're still reading! Tassie5 - it's not the servo next to Rosies, it's the one a bit along the road (same side as the Rosies servo, towards Woodbridge), opposite the cricket/footy oval.
Thanks Graham, for the tip-off as well!

Anonymous said...

Great nougat but Anvers in the North are heeps better

Rita said...

Anvers are good, Anon 9.44, I'll grant you that, and previously I have been a big Anvers fan, but since my Kettering visit on Sunday, am afraid to tell you John Zito definitely takes the crown for Tassie! Of course, it's all purely subjective!

PC said...

"a sleazy-looking room"? A harsh description for a Nutella-coloured annex. Un-inspiring, nondescript perhaps? But sleazy in a sleepy Channel village - I think not.

Rita said...

Oh PC - I despair of the thought of defending one little word (ie "sleazy") in a post which, to even the most moronic amongst us, is obviously brimming full of high praise for John Zito and his chocolate shop! So I won't!

PC said...

M'thinks the lady doth protest too much. I seek merely to defend the honour of Channel architecture.

RS said...

Visited last Saturday with the family. We found John to be a lovely bloke and so enthusiastic. After many generous samples, we bought nougat, fancy chocs, choc-coated nuts etc; they're all fantastic, particularly for me the coffee liqueur-filled choc. Also, his hazelnut creme stirred through good vanilla icecream is heavenly. I agree with Rita, the trip from Hobart is worth it.

sir grumpy said...

I will be in, Rita. But I laugh a bit when people say well worth the trip from Hobart.

It's almost inner-city these days (exagerration) when you see all the development along the Channel.

Sydeysiders, Melburnians and Brisbanites would consider it CBD!

steve said...

Hi Rita-Its great to see John finally getting the recognition he deserves as he is one of the best chocolatiers and confectioners in the State. He has spent many years perfecting his craft and as a result his product is unrivalled in my opinion. I have long enjoyed his wonderful hazelnuts and associated hazelnut products but he has taken it to another level entirely.
We'll be serving his chocolate covered etste grown hazelnuts at the cafe soon, cant wait!

doctordel said...

Hi Rita, thank you for your wonderful comments about my dads chocolate shop. He has been truly touched by the support from the local community. Just yesterday we had 3 customers who had read your blog and made the trip to Kettering! If you get a chance check out out blog, nutpatchnougat.blogspot, its in its early stages but we will be showcasing our products and new lines.

Graham Bannister said...

Need a good excuse to get down to Kettering for some choccies. Well Pasha's is now trading in the former Ferry Road Store AND this weekend you can experience the Festival of the Pink Stump just over the road from the Choccie Shop.

Susie said...

Pasha cooked a fantastic breakfast for us yesterday at Kettering and he wasn't even supposed to be open. Oven baked bread, eggs, bacon, tomatoes capsicum, spinach, excellent coffee and for later on turkish deligh & cream filled biscuits. Worth dropping in!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
My husband and I loved your shop and your friendlyness towards us. Thank you for taking the time to chat to me about your gorgeous chocolate.

Im looking forward to your adult ed course you where telling me about.

Your Nougat is absolutely the best ive had. Thx and all the very best down there at Kettering.

Regard Teresa. S.

Kettering News said...

Get you Chrissie choccies at #Kettering #Tasmania - Handmade and fabulous at Nutpatch