The word chocolate sends thoughts of sweet romantic moments straight to my brain and immediately starts releasing endorphins. My mind has been trained over the years, through countless chocolate testing moments. The mastery I have gained in this specific task, quite possibly has rendered me the title of “expert,” or some might say “fanatic.” One of my attractions to chocolate in my later years is the benefit your body attains from eating “good” chocolate. Cacao, in my eyes, is the original superfood, and people have been enjoying it for thousands of years. Good cacao contains more antioxidants per gram than blueberries, goji berries, red wine, raisins, prunes, and even pomegranates. The mastery of eating healthy cacao as chocolate is the ingredients that also go into that chocolate bar. Below I have listed a few of my favourites, I chose them for very different reasons but let’s face it every mood deserves a different chocolate choice.
Rococo Chocolate Bars
Crafted and delivered straight from London, doesn’t it already sound romantic? Rococo chocolate bars are the perfect gift because their combination of chocolate bars is genuinely unique. They have your classics, like Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Sea , but then you have Moroccan Mint, Basil & Persian Lime, and Raspberry Fizz…come on? They truly stand out from the crowd and have sourced the most amazing ingredients to create the unthinkable combinations. These chocolate bars are truly the tops of my list for a perfect present. They are wrapped in matte paper with bold patterns and colours, honestly just looking at them is romantic and fun all at the same time. If you are looking to impress your Valentine, this would be the choice for you.
These Chocolatiers are on a new wave of chocolate making and have an incredible story. They are out of Brooklyn, NY, and are very transparent about their source of cacao, sustainability, and fair pricing. They ensure their cacao is single-sourced and not roasted, bringing a high level of consistency to the taste of their bars. Yes, in the chocolatier bible, cacao beans are to be roasted for it to be called chocolate. So, I guess they wrote their rulebook, and you can taste it in the pop of flavour you find in the Raaka bars. It is what sets them apart. Listen to these combinations: Oat Milk Dark Chocolate (sweetened with maple), Coconut Milk Dark Chocolate and Pink Sea Salt. All bars are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. Their slogan also gets me every time, “From Bean to Bar in Brooklyn.” If you are looking to shake up your chocolate lover’s cupboard, this is a beautiful unroasted chocolate that stands alone in its category.
I always love finding good Canadian products, and if they are they are healthy, well, that sets them apart. Cocoa Bee checks both of these boxes, and here is why, they are refined sugar-free, no artificial sweeteners or additives, and non-GMO. Here is the best part, Cocoa Bee bars are made with three simple ingredients, cocoa butter, natural cocoa powder, and 100% Pure Canadian Honey. When I saw this, I wondered why it had taken someone this long to create what I think is a fantastic combination. I believe this is the perfect addition to your kids’ Valentine’s present. It’s not too overpowering in taste, and the honey combo makes all Moms everywhere happy.
I also should mention that Summerhill Market does also source their own chocolate bars. We have worked for years with XOCO Gourmet and we have found what we think is the perfect chocolate using Mayan red cocoa beans. XOCO Gourmet has held to their roots, and we believe they are creating some of the best chocolate in the world. The Mayan red cocoa bean delivers a sophisticated and distinct blend of dark raisins, fruit, and honey. Even though we are not Chocolatiers ourselves, we have found an exceptional partner who maintains the quality of our brand.