There are some days when a Hershey's Kiss just doesn't cut it … you know what I'm talking about, chocolate lovers. Flavorful and rich is what you're hankering for, and maybe something extra to make you wonder, too.
The Willy Wonkas of the artisan food industry are answering that call … a little too well. I don't know about you, but the walls, shelves, and pyramid displays of sweets leave me in a puddle of confusion and anxiety. What should I try first? What difference does sea salt even make? Is this worth a departure from my Hershey's Dark or Dove chocolate hearts?
Luckily, we aren't in short supply of chocoholics here at CL. We put a few buzz-worthy bars and bites through the gauntlet—for the sake of our readers, of course (though a chocolate break every day wasn't so difficult).
First, we have Raaka chocolates. Based in Brooklyn, Raaka explores unroasted cocoa beans and the complex quirks they bring to chocolate. Alongside partnerships with co-ops and farms in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and beyond, they produce unique fair-trade chocolates like Saffron Cranberry and Bourbon Aged Bars.
We love their Pastille Jars (shown above and to the right). For $15, you get 70 pastilles that are perfect little bites, just enough when you want a small dose of chocolate lovin'. The pastilles made with coconut milk are smooth and creamy with a subtle coconut finish, while the Dark with Sea Salt are deep in flavor with small salt granules that offer a slight briny crunch.
Next we have offerings from Xocolatl De David. Based in Portland, Oregon, Xocolatl sources from South and Central America while infusing their lineup with some novel flavors. At $9 a bar, they're quite a splurge, ideal as a special gift or an experience to share among fellow chocoholic friends.
The bar shown above is the Jacobsen Salt Co. bar, and it's intensely dark and creamy with bits of crunch from the salt flakes. A true favorite among salted chocolate fans.
The Sourdough & Olive Oil bar is just fun. The chocolate is creamy with subtle olive oil flavor with crunch from the crumbs of sourdough bread. Think puffed rice crunch but with crusty bread.
The Brown Butter bar was one of the overwhelming favorites. The chocolate almost tastes like caramel or butterscotch. It's buttery, creamy, and salty. Perfect for any chocolate explorer looking for an elevated departure from something familiar.
For something with more texture, we loved the Brown Butter Crunch. Think creamy buttery with caramelized chunks throughout, ending with a subtle bitter finish.
What's your favorite way to enjoy chocolate?