Chocolate is one of those ingredients that many people eat and love but don’t know much about. Most people are surprised to find out that it is actually an acidic fruit that is very bitter until it goes though a specific fermentation, drying, and sorting process.

All about chocolate:

The origins of chocolate first began in the Amazon where there are cacao trees that bear melon shaped pods containing the seeds are later transformed into the rich and drool worthy taste of chocolate that we enjoy today. There are only three types of pods that can be harvested from the cacao tree: criollo, trinitario, and forastero. Each originates from a different region of the world with criollo being the rarest.

Here are some of the best chocolate bars that nailed down the bean to bar transformation process.

1. Letterpress ChocolateEcuador, Costa Esmeraldas, 70% Dark

Katelynn Budzich

The cacao bean used in this bar is grown in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, which is not an area in Ecuador known for growing cacao, making this a very unique chocolate bar. Underneath the golden packaging lies an extraordinarily dark hue for 70% dark chocolate that juxtaposes its mild flavor. The tasting notes have a nutty and floral taste on the palate. This chocolate bar was awarded silver in 2017 at the Academy of Chocolate Awards and a 2017 Good Food Awards Winner. 

2. Cacao PrietoPecan & Sour Cherry

Katelynn Budzich

This is a bark bar; meaning whole ingredients are studded throughout. This single origin Dominican Cacao has tasting notes of nutty pecans and tart sour cherries as you can get a taste of both nut and fruit in each bite of chocolate. Make sure you save the individually designed post card that decorates the chocolate bar as a souvenir!

3. Amedei TuscanyToscano Red

Katelynn Budzich

Made by one of the few women chocolatiers in the world, this chocolate bar is crafted with grace. Red berries sweeten this extra dark chocolate (70%) bar, establishing that dark chocolate pairs wonderfully with red berries. The tasting notes are a slightly rounded out bitterness with a tart sweetness. The specific berries used are strawberries, cherries, and raspberries. You can never go wrong with chocolate and fruit; this bar proves that it is no less than a match made in heaven. 

4. Rózsavölgyi ChocolateCaramelized Lavender Flowers in Milk Chocolate with Anise

Katelynn Budzich

Although this chocolate shop may be near impossible to pronounce, the chocolate is just as exotic as the name may sound. The tasting notes are of floral and piney lavender mixed with a mild licorice flavor from the anise that is then enrobed in creamy milk chocolate, which complements the bold aromas. The extra step of caramelizing the lavender flowers intensifies its unique and less than subtle flavor giving this chocolate bar a well-balanced taste of intense ingredients. 

5. SOMA ChocolatemakerCSB Chama 70

Katelynn Budzich

The criollo bean used to make this bar is extremely rare. It is a hybridized Venezuelan cacao; only a limited amount was unrestricted for export to chocolate factories. The tasting notes include coffee, buttermilk, macadamia nut, nectarines, orange blossom, raisins, malt, and grass. It may seem like a lot of flavors but the taste is some of the most pure chocolate flavors and textures. It melts in your mouth leaving a fruity undertone and herbaceous finish. This chocolate bar is recognized with a whopping six awards, meaning you cannot go wrong with it.  

6. French Broad ChocolatesSea Salt 75%

Katelynn Budzich

Salt in sweets may sound crazy but specifically in chocolate it actually enhances the flavor and tames the bitterness allowing the beautiful natural flavor of the chocolate to come through. This chocolate bar is made with Nicaraguan cacao making the tasting notes rich of buttered biscuits and black coffee. This particular bar is dairy-free and vegan.

If you are curious about trying rich dark chocolate, interesting flavor combinations, or various cocoa beans from multiple areas around the world, these 6 chocolate bars are a great place to start to satisfy that unrelenting chocolate craving.