More than a year ago, we asked all of you readers out there to muster your courage and take a step outside your chocolate comfort zone. Remember how much fun that was? Well, now we’re here to suggest you do it again. That’s because the imaginative folks over at Komforte Chokolate in Southern California have dreamed up two new types of delicious, boundary-pushing flavors of chocolate – and both varieties knocked our socks off.
Askinosie Chocolate likes to be first. They’re the first small-batch, 100% traceable bean-to-bar boutique chocolatier in the US to import cocoa beans from the Philippines in 25 years. They’re the first small-batch chocolate factory to press their own cocoa butter. And they’re leading the pack in sourcing their cocoa beans directly from small farmers, paying them above Fair Trade prices while sharing 10% net profits too. Indeed, this unassuming Missouri chocolatier — the genius of a former criminal defense attorney — is like the little chocolate company that could.
It’s true. Xavier Mor’s packaging does look a bit like cough drops. But Ricola’s got nothing on these chocolate beauties. Hailing from Barcelona, this ‘designer chocolate‘ is the quintessential marriage of superb chocolate making meets graphic arts.
Nudo Olive Oil is something that The Urban Grocer has been hooked on since the very beginning. The work of two British expats who have relocated to Le Marche, Italy, Nudo is an adopt-an-olive-tree program, where wannabe harvesters can own their own piece of an Italian olive tree and the gorgeous oil it produces. Money from the adoption program goes on to fund farmers who can continue to create 100% Italian olive oils using traditional and artisanal methods. We’re sold.
Ooo la la! No gift says ‘unwrap me’ like vintage calendar girl pin-ups branded seductively across luxury chocolate bars. From NY-based MarieBelle Sweets, come this tantalizing range of artisanal, haute milk and dark chocolates all dressed up for your viewing and eating pleasure.
Ever since Lucy and Ethel were captured scarfing down chocolates on the conveyor belt, the industrial candy factory image has sort of stuck. But as hilarious as that was, these days it’s all about artisanal, handmade sweets. And one Danish collaboration has taken this to a whole new level. Enter Chocolates with Attitude.
All of you sweet lovers out there, hear this: The a’chocolypse has arrived, and it’s pretty damn tasty. No, this isn’t the end of the world – it’s just the end of the chocolate bar as you know it. And for that you can thank Sweeteeth Chocolates, a little company based in Charleston, South Carolina that dreamed up the A’Chocolypse chocolate bar – four ounces of 70 percent dark chocolate, candied ginger, and tongue-tickling popping sugar.
Delectable chocolate. Such is the Mayan and Nahuatl English translation of the word Ki-xocolatl. It’s also — not coincidentally, of course — the name of a stellar bean-to-bar Mexican-based chocolate collection. The result of years of partnership between a Belgian husband and wife chocolatier team, and Mexican cocoa producers hailing from Chiapas and Tabasco, Ki’xocolatl is a solid marriage of top notch Mexican ingredients and a dash of European techniques.
What happens when you live in a world that is trending designer chocolate, DIY projects and local cuisine? German founded Chocri, an online interactive design-your-own chocolate bar operation, that’s what. To release your inner Willy Wonka, navigate to the website and begin by choosing your base, be it white, milk, dark or a sinful combination. Next, sprinkle in a handful of fruits from sour cherry to fig bits and everything in between.
We’re loving this newly launched packaging from Russian-based designer Peter Zharnov. Each wrapper and the chocolate bar within have been created based on infamous abstract works. Here, art and food become one. Dipped in chocolate, that is.
Call it the tomboy truffle. Take those classic manly snacks — pretzels and beer — and wrap them up in a little ball of smooth, rich milk chocolate ganache. There you have it: the beer and pretzel truffle from Chicago’s own Truffle Truffle chocolate shop. Feeling a little more gourmet? Check out their pinot truffle — a scrumptious little ball of red-wine infused dark chocolate ganache, covered in another layer of dark chocolate.
Don’t let its looks fool you. Though it’s rocking a chocolate bar exterior, these chunks of dark goodness are made of entirely single origin coffee. Yup, the world’s first ‘coffee bar’ lets you experience java like you’ve never experienced it before.
Over the years chocolate has evolved from mass-produced baking tablets in kitchens where dark chocolate was virtually unheard of, to a distinguished product coveted for its incredible complexity. However, today’s attitude towards chocolate has not so much evolved as it has returned to its pagan roots when it was revered as a wondrous, even medicinal, ingredient. Enter Soma Chocolatemaker in Toronto’s uber-hip Distillery District where you can ‘eat, drink and worship chocolate’.
Delicaseys Chocolates boasts simple packaging, handmade labels, and natural sweets made of quality chocolates, fruits, and nuts. Together, innovative combinations of fresh flavors steep dark chocolate to produce harmonious, artisanal treats.
Hmmm, hmmm. Let it be known that in my next life, I’d like to be the wrapping on a bar of Salazon (Spanish for ‘salted’) organic chocolate, with its subtle burst of sea salt flavoring.