The Best Chocolate

Nov 1 '12

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The Best Chocolate

The Five Best Chocolate Bars You’ve Never Tasted

According to the International Cocoa Association, the net sales value of confectioneries in 2011 was $55 billion worldwide. And I can safely say that I contributed to that value. I’m a chocoholic, and if it’s chocolate, I’ll taste it. I’m currently working my way through a Wawal 70% bar from Poland and a Raaka chili chocolate bar I picked up at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg. I’ve sipped drinking chocolate from Marie Antoinette’s recipe from 1775, and I’ve sampled random bars from every country I’ve ever visited. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed them all.

But some I’ve enjoyed a little more than others. It’s time to share the love. Here are my top five favorites. I’ve hooked many friends on these chocolates, and I bet I can hook a few of you too.

Unless you too are an unrepentant chocoholic, you probably won’t recognize many of these brands, and most of you aren’t going to find these bars in your local grocery stores (although Whole Foods carries Mast Brothers). If you’re lucky or persistent, you can catch them either online or in specialty shops. But for me, the hunt is almost as satisfying as the chocolate itself…although not quite.

If you have any favorites I’ve neglected, let me know in the comments; I’m always willing to try new chocolate.


This Swiss company’s Black Praline Goldbar is sweet but not too sweet and unctuously smooth, its creaminess offset by thin layers of almonds and hazelnuts.


In a blind taste test, I chose the Ambanja as my favorite of their entire product line–two years in a row. Almost everything Guittard makes is terrific, however, this bar excels thanks to its bright, fruity notes and a berry finish.


Amadei website writes that Bar Chuao “evolves into a flavor of fresh fruits and closes with a sensation of honey and preserves.” I didn’t get that. What I did get was a serious chocolate kick that started chocolaty, evolved more chocolaty, and stayed with me for hours.


Of the many raw chocolates on the market, I have to choose the Dark Cacao Truffles one as my favorite for its earthiness and dense richness. As it’s flavored with agave, it gives me a chocolate rush without a sugar rush…and the subsequent sugar crash. (Uli Mana comes in ball form, not bar, but its ingredients are as simple as any plain bar.)


Wrinkling your nose at the thought of salt marring your perfect chocolate? Don’t. A well-salted bar dials the flavor of the beans to 11. It’s powerfully complex, and it’s one of the best chocolate bars I’ve ever tasted–worth every penny of its (admittedly exorbitant) price.

By Carol Pinchefsky

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