Nutpatch Nougat could well be one of Tasmania’s best-kept secrets. Hidden away in a nondescript building that once housed a service station, you need to stay alert when driving through Kettering in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel region south of Hobart to even find the tiny shop. But once you do find it, and you walk into the air-conditioned room filled with a gorgeous array of chocolate treats, well…. you’ll never forget your first time.
Nutpatch Nougat: Kettering
Savvy travellers will spot a roadside sign pointing the way to handmade chocolates. And you simply must stop when you see that sign, because you will experience the most delectable morsels ever. It would even be worth chancing your run to the Bruny Island Ferry, which is not far away. I’d miss the ferry for a taste of these sweet little things any day!
I first discovered the delights of Nutpatch Nougat on a day out with Judy from Eye See Personalised Tours in early September. I promised to provide more details, especially after the intense interest generated via Facebook. And now, a month later, I’ve been for a follow-up visit to Kettering courtesy of Sally from Herbaceous Tours. Those tour company ladies certainly know how to show their guests a great day out.
Love at First Bite
Someone else who makes a great host is John Zito, the owner of Nutpatch Nougat. With first-hand knowledge the prevailing ethos at Think Tasmania, obviously I couldn’t write an article about his chocolates without a sample or two. But the generosity of John went way beyond any desire to have his business promoted. The man is so passionate about his product, he clearly wants everyone to try it and love it as he does.
According to John, the product practically sells itself anyway. Once a customer takes their first bite, they’re hooked. They rave about the heavenly chocolate to their friends and family and the fan-base grows naturally. As you’ll find with many successful business owners, John cares about his local community and the people who support him. That’s why I’m definitely sold on both the chocolates and the character who makes them.
John Zito: Man of Mystery and Chocolate
When it was time to venture back to Hobart with Sally, I left Nutpatch Nougat totally convinced the chocolates all taste divine. I also think there’s a lot to learn about the chocolatier himself. Asking questions of John Zito does not exactly provide a direct answer. He’s a passionate Italian man, who has clearly lived an interesting life with a diverse career background. But he doesn’t give much detail away. And he’s certainly not keen to divulge too many secrets when it comes to making chocolate.
I do know that John’s family owns the Nutpatch Hazelnut Orchard in Kettering, the source of his core product. The chocolate is delivered from Belgium in insane quantities to keep up with demand. And John draws on his science and engineering knowledge for the process of turning raw, natural ingredients into the delights that are now coveted by many. And maybe that’s all I need to know.
Learning from the Master
Those few facts, and the knowledge that the chocolates taste perfectly delicious, is enough for me to recommend Nutpatch Nougat to all and sundry. For those who do want to discover some of the secrets John Zito holds close to his chest, there will soon be a way. Nutpatch Nougat will be launching a new venture in their Kettering premises, and it involves lessons in the art of chocolate making. Now that’s a classroom anyone could love!
While we’ve already written about our day out with Judy of Eye See Personalised Tours, we still have more to share about Sally and what Herbaceous Tours has to offer. If you’re into gourmet food and want to meet with Tasmanian food producers, Sally definitely has insider knowledge and will take you straight to the source.
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