One bite and it's like tasting chocolate for the first time
This is Cacao Culture at its best

The video comes from the good people at Rozavolgyi Csokoládé from Hungary but in essence it is the story of how all the chocolate makers in our book work in partnership with their growers to make the worlds finest chocolate.  I highly recommend watching this…  you will never look at chocolate the same way again.

 Most of the bars you will find in even the best grocery stores would be classified as industrial by the experts.  Worse yet most of the Cacao are poor hybrids farmed by slave labor, mostly children from West Africa’s Ivory Coast.  Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certifications are not a guarantee that any of the ideals of these organizations are being fulfilled.  

Shawn Askinosie and Bertil Akesson have stated that many growers are paid with a portion of the crop rather than cash in Fair Trade certified collectives and the Rainforest group to date has not done a good job addressing human rights issues.  Instead of looking for these cute certification logos we suggest looking for the origin of the Cacao.  

Click Here To Visit Ritual Page

Ritual Artisan Chocolate

Ritual is taking the hearts and minds of elite chocolate experts, like Chloe Doutre-Roussel, quicker than any current brand. Avoiding the use of cocoa butter or vanilla, Ritual is able to coax incredible nuance out of their beans while exhibiting class and subtlety.  Originally from Colorado they have now moved to Park City Utah to be part of the vibrant artisan food scene there.  Click The Title or Image To Visit Ritual Page
OmNom Artisan Chocolate

OmNom Artisan Chocolate

Kjartan Gíslason is a chef-turned-chocolatier and co-owner of Iceland’s Omnom Chocolate. They operate out of a former gas station but don’t let that fool you the chocolates are off the charts good.   The offer both single origin bars as well as inclusion bars. Winners of numerous European and World Championships we highly recommend you take Omnom for a spin. By the way the packaging designed by one of the partners is sensational so it makes for great gift giving.

Dick Taylor Artisan Chocolate

Using the finest cacao, and a modern take on traditional European technique, we are able to fully realize the potential of the beans we source. All of our chocolate is carefully crafted from the bean in our small factory in Northern California.  DT is one of the hottest artisan chocolate makers in North America if you haven’t tried it put their Black Fig Bar on your list.  Click The Title or Image To Visit Dick Taylor Page

Pump Street Bakery

Having mastered the art of bread and pastries, Pump Street has turned their all-consuming focus on quality to chocolate. Along with only a few other UK producers, they are making small batch, handmade chocolate from beans imported directly to them from family farms and cooperatives around the world. Click The Title or Image To Visit Pump Street Bakery Page
Chocolate Naive Artisan Chocolate

Chocolate Naive Artisan Chocolate

Domantas Uzpalis of Chocolate Naïve is one of the more inventive and exceptional makers of Craft Chocolate in the world. Based in Lithuania, Naïve makes chocolate in ways that help to reveal the character of a particular Cacao Beans Place of Origin… In his Equator series all of the ingredients that go into a bar come from the same country.  He Believes there is a synergy in that.  His Forager Series is all about inclusions he sources from the forests of Lithuania.  

Original Beans Chocolate

Original beans is one of the best values in our book.  I sample the Beni Wild Harvest and the Porcelana all the time with clients.  These bars are bargains. Our way of preserving the most spectacular forests in the world is to offer the most delicious products these forests have to give. To give back, we plant or preserve one tree for every product sold. —Philip Kauffmann, 2014, Original Beans Founder
Where The Grower, Maker, The Chocolate and Consumer Meet
Where The Grower, Maker, The Chocolate and Consumer Meet
Where The Grower, Maker, The Chocolate and Consumer Meet
Where The Grower, Maker, The Chocolate and Consumer Meet
Where The Grower, Maker, The Chocolate and Consumer Meet
Rozsavolgyi Csokolade

Rozsavolgyi Csokolade

Chocolate as a material is particularly inspiring. The Artisans at Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé use traditional processes and pure ingredients to achieve the most natural flavors and apply detailed yet contemporary designs to create a memorable experience – a true piece of art.  From Hungary the single origin bars are award winners and their inclusion bars include treats like caramelized lavender, cacao nibs & palinka and olives and toasted bread crumbs.  Click The Title Or The Image To Visit The ROZSAVOLGYI Page
Marou Lam Dong 74% Chocolate Bar

Marou Artisan Chocolate

Marou evokes many thoughts and emotions. From exhilaration, lust, fear, and back to comfort. It is an incredibly complex and exotic chocolate. Using 100% Vietnamese ingredients including shade grown cacao from 5 different provinces, Marou captures aromas and flavors never before experienced by our Western palates. The two French expatriates behind Marou live in Vietnam make chocolate that is a cousin to French, but distinctively Vietnamese.  Click The Title Or Image To View The Marou Page
Madecasse Artisan Chocolate

Madecasse Artisan Chocolate

Beyond Good produces chocolate and vanilla on Madagascar and now also in Uganda (most companies buy raw materials from these regions and produce elsewhere). The resulting products are better tasting terroir-centric bars. Beyond Good is unique in the sense that it in a total partnership with the native farmers and produces excellent chocolate bars at a reasonable price.  
Fruition Chocolate

Fruition Chocolate

Small Batch – Craft Chocolate Fruition is a small batch bean to bar chocolate workshop located in the Catskill Mountains of New York. With meticulous attention to detail, we slowly roast and stone grind carefully selected cocoa beans to accentuate their inherent flavor.  I sample this quite a bit and the Rustic Crunch bar might be the best Nibs Bar on the planet.
 Cacao Sampaka Artisan Chocolate

Cacao Sampaka Barcelona Spain

Was created to spotlight the culture of cocoa to focus on chocolate tasting as a social custom and to unlock our passion for this legendary food of the gods!  Incredible single origin bars and inclusion bars by the god father of  Molecular Gastronomy, Ferran Adria.  The Gin and Tonic bar, the Flor De Sal and Spicy Lime (Great White Chocolate is Sensational) are three of our favorites.  Click The Title or Image To Visit Cacao Sampaka Page
Amano Chocolate one of the top 5 chocolate makers in the world

Amano Chocolate Salt Lake City

Art Pollard started winning medals at the London Academy of Chocolate in 2008… a gold to start with for his Madagascar Sambirano.  He has been winning medals ever since and is considered to be as a producer at the highest echelons of Cacao Culture.  He is famous for bringing out the best in the worlds most exotic single origin cacaos but do not pass up his inclusion bars.
Academy of Chocolate Awards
2016 Academy of Chocolate Winners Available At Crossroads Food and Wine
The Academy of Chocolate was Established in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals who were united in the belief that eating fine chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. The Academy campaigns to raise awareness of the difference between fine chocolate and the mass-produced chocolate confectionery. The Acadamey works to improve the standard and knowledge by promoting an understanding of the ingredients of chocolate from bean to bar. They also encourage the transparent sourcing of cocoa beans from the plantations and their production in socially fair and sustainable conditions.
The Academy defines fine chocolate as:
Containing no vegetable fat other than cocoa butter
With a minimum cocoa content of: Dark 60%; Milk 30%
Where the quality, provenance and treatment of the cocoa beans have been considered
Containing no artificial additives such as vanillin, flavourings, colourings, preservatives, etc.
Members of the Academy are committed to ethically sourced chocolate.
Amedei 9 inch bar

Amedei Artisan Chocolate

Amedei Chocolate offers incredible single origin chocolates and inclusion bars.  A winner of many Academy of  Chocolate Awards  Amedei’s dedicated approach to quality is palpable in every one of their bars.  Cecelia Tessieri is known as the “Queen of Chocolate”.  There’s a harmonic array of nuance while maintaining a smooth, balanced experience is always second to none.  Click the Title or the Image To View the Amedei Video and See Some of Our Favorite Bars

Solstice Artisan Chocolate

Owner Scott Querry has developed his love and passion for chocolate over the last 15 years and is now the company’s sole chocolate maker. High quality, hard to find, organic cacao beans are processed with organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter in extremely small batches with a meticulous process and eye from Scott. The result is mature, full flavored, single origin bars that have stolen a piece of our hearts.   Click The Title or Image To Visit Solstice Craft Chocolate Page
Francois Pralus Madagascar Chocolate Bar

Francois Pralus

Francois Pralus is an exceptional Master Chocolate Maker because he is one of the few in France to manufacture his own chocolate. François Pralus works with dried cocoa beans that he receives from the very best cocoa plantations all over the world, especially from South American and Indonesia.  These are 100 gram bars which is a generous portion.  Sampling a selection of his single origin bars is like taking a trip around the world.  Like different varietals of wine each one has its subtleties.   Click The Title or Image To Visit Francois Pralus Page