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Thursday, January 26, 2023

7 Finest Chocolate Bars to Present This Valentine’s Day

When it comes all the way down to it, what we actually need for Valentine’s Day is one thing candy. Sentimental, definitely, but in addition “candy” within the purest sense of the phrase: chocolate. Don’t get me unsuitable, I really like the intention behind something sparkly (addressing my S.O. instantly right here), however for a chocolate-loving gal akin to myself, little else satisfies my February 14 craving. And naturally, regardless of the sense I’m trying to indulge, aesthetics ought to all the time come into play. That’s why the perfect chocolate bars to reward not solely style unbelievable, however require zero wrapping. They’re attractive sufficient as is.

Why the uptick in, as The Strategist coined, “standing chocolate bars”? Ever since Mast Brothers (rebranded now as Mast Market, helmed by the bearded sibling duo usually related to establishing the mid-aughts development of Amish-style beards) enclosed their artisanal chocolate in patterned paper, the world started to see chocolate in a brand new mild. We not needed to fulfill our candy tooth with one thing so-so. Enter: a brand new period of indulgence for aesthetes and chocolate lovers all over the place.

The High 7 Finest Chocolate Bars to Present

Since then (Mast Brothers started distributing their chocolate bars in 2007), the world of artisanal chocolate has exploded. In an effort to increase the “bean-to-bar” motion, many different manufacturers have entered {the marketplace}. And in consequence, we’ve loads of choices relating to each fairly packaging and distinctive flavors.

Let me be clear: I really like my job—particularly when it entails taste-testing upwards of 20 bars to find out the perfect chocolate bars to reward. The seven choices beneath have been the easiest of the perfect. So, if you end up out there for one thing particular between now and mid-Feb (or actually any time you wish to shock and delight your accomplice or pals), seek the advice of the record beneath. There’s positive to be one thing for chocolate lovers of all stripes.


Let’s start with the perfect of the perfect. Simply because the outdated adage “don’t decide a e book by its cowl” falls brief once in a while, so does the premium chocolate bar equal. Within the case of Compartés, all the time decide a bar by its wrapper. Whereas the Los Angeles-based model has been round for just a few years (and once more, The Strategist already considers it passé), the bars boast the proper intersection of artwork and artisanal. Certain, on the earth of “it” chocolate, we would all the time be chasing the following smartest thing—and rising manufacturers are certain to construct on it—I’m blissful to offer credit score the place scrumptious credit score is due.

Effective & Uncooked Chocolate

The title! The branding! The doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously method! Whereas I dedicated to writing off any model that joined two phrases with an ampersand way back, Effective & Uncooked completely encapsulates the product. Every natural bar is handmade in Brooklyn, completely executing and persevering with the bean-to-bar revolution. And whereas the ultimate consequence borders on addicting, the makers of Effective & Uncooked are all concerning the course of. Clear components, plant-based merchandise, moral and sustainable manufacturing, and high quality sourcing. Can your Hershey’s bar say the identical?

Raaka Chocolate

I all the time questioned whether or not flying premium with JetBlue (the classification is termed “Mint” by the model) was price paying high greenback for. And then I came upon that each one passengers not solely acquired free-wifi and lie-flat seats (luxurious!) however they may additionally snack on Raaka mini chocolate bars. After making an attempt Raaka Chocolate myself, I’m rethinking my United alliance. Kidding… form of.

However really, for a model that’s been round for the reason that surge of artisanal chocolate bars hit Brooklyn in 2010, Raaka is aware of play the lengthy sport. And as chocolate connoisseurs, we’re reaping the tasty outcomes. Certain, I received’t faux it wasn’t the big swaths of vibrant coloration protecting their bars that first drew me in. And I received’t deny the buzzword-utilizing flavors that stored me intrigued. However all of this collectively, mixed with over a decade of dominance within the chocolate world, has me coming again (and again once more). Everybody deserves a style of Raaka.

Mission Chocolate

Mission Chocolate relies in São Paulo, Brazil. The chocolate maker herself, Arcelia Gallardo, started her profession on the famed Dandelion Chocolate (one other winner on this record). Gallardo likes to dive deep into each a part of the chocolate-making course of, making painstaking efforts to make sure that every bar tastes like nothing you’ve ever had earlier than—in one of the simplest ways doable. Not solely that, however she additionally goals to develop and increase the bean to bar motion in Brazil and performed a major function in starting the Affiliation of Bean to Bar Brasil Makers. I’d take into account {that a} good purpose to splurge on one thing tasty.


Matchaful has formally answered my incessantly-voiced prayers. Getting my favourite beverage in (vegan) chocolate type? Good. The model is thought for sourcing the perfect Japanese matcha and curating a good looking collection of matcha-infused edible items (granola, crisps, and naturally, chocolate). Their deal with high quality is obvious in not solely the product, however the expertise of visiting any of the three NYC-based cafés. All the things from the packaging to the preparation to the attractive last product is fastidiously thought of. And with a deal with sharing items that may be woven into your every day routine, it’s no marvel we grew to become converts instantly.

Dandelion Chocolate

As promised, the famed Dandelion Chocolate made the minimize. The small-batch model relies in San Francisco however sources single-origin chocolate from around the globe (suppose: Liberia, Madagascar, and Tanzania). And whereas I really like a bit of crunch and added texture to my chocolate, with cacao beans this pure and minimally processed, it’d be a disgrace to cowl the flavour up.

Mast Market

Controversial, I do know, however I’ll admit—I’m a Mast fan by means of and thru. Sure, the model did face allegations in 2015 that its chocolate was *so good* as a result of it contained melted-down bits of the perfect, however the firm has since regrouped and revamped. We can also’t have a dialog about the perfect chocolate bars to reward with out together with the OG in an honorary spot. In a 2015 Self-importance Honest article, the publication cited Mast as being answerable for “introducing artisanal chocolate to mainstream American tradition” and that’s definitely one thing we’ve to thank them for. I’ll fortunately achieve this by buying a (some say it’s, some say it isn’t) “overpriced” bar.

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