The World's Finest Artisan Chocolates
Picking out chocolate on Valentine's Day can be somewhat...daunting. Not all chocolate is created equal, so what is truly worth buying when it comes to selecting candy for your special loved one?
For the staff at Theo, chocolate isn’t just a product; the company’s small batch production is truly an art form. Since 2006, Theo’s been making the highest quality chocolate from some of the world’s best cocoa beans, grown in the most sustainable ways possible. The company is the only organic, fair trade, Fair for Life certified bean-to-bar Chocolate factory in North America.
V-day Indulgence: The Big Daddy Marshmallow- Three colossal organic and fair trade confections that will have you moaning with each bite. Theo starts with a handmade graham cracker crust, adds a layer of buttery vanilla infused caramel, and floats a fluffy marshmallow cloud on top. Enrobed in dark chocolate, and decorated with an alderwood smoked milk chocolate flourish.
Marushka Chocolates is a pop-up shop and up-and-coming online resource about chocolate. Their high quality confections are wrapped in sustainable packaging and made with Chocolate Cordillera, a direct trade, single-origin chocolate from Columbia. There is a direct relationship between the farmers and purchasers where farmers are paid premium prices for their beans in return for producing a quality product. The relationship supports the whole community ensuring workers are paid fair wages, transforming land once used for growing cocaine into cacao forests, and even buying a fire truck for a village.
V-day Indulgence: Sweetheart Box – a gorgeous box of chocolates that includes a gift card with a Valentine’s message in your own sweet words. Flavors such as Honey White Chocolate, Chocolate Almond Crunch, Coffee Cardamom, Cognac Caramel and Jasmine Pearl Tea are truly the perfect little present in itself.
Many experts consider Madagascar cocoa the best in the world due to its genetic variety and the island’s rich soil, so the bars — some of the world’s finest chocolate — can be sold at a high price. Madécasse generates four times more income than fair trade cocoa because all of the chocolate production takes place only a few hours away from where it is organically and sustainably harvested. Once hardened and wrapped, the bars are shipped off directly to the distribution locations. Workers are paid above the “fair” price and are provided job and skill training.
V-day Indulgence: The Tasting Flight- This decadent collection of chocolates showcases each of Madécasse’s beautiful flavors inspired by and made in Madagascar: classic pure cocoa bars, fruit and spice infused bars, and those with a crunch.
Pacari Chocolate is a family-owned company, dedicated to making high quality organic chocolate from Ecuador. Santiago Peralta and Carla Barboto built a business based on socially and environmentally sustainable principles to ensure that their products support the well-being of the land and the community around it. Combining a passion for sustainable business and a commitment to preserving the native Arriba Nacional cacao, they developed Pacari Chocolate – the first single-origin organic chocolate made entirely in Ecuador. Pacari works in small batches using carefully selected ingredients to bring you an unforgettable chocolate experience.
V-day Indulgence: Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans- Pop these gourmet Ecuadorian roasted coffee beans (coved in a rich dark chocolate) to start the evening festivities off with a kick.
John & Kira’s is a socially innovative chocolate company dedicated to both making and selling world class confections and promoting positive social change. Their products highlight ingredients from small family producers and urban gardens. Currently, their honey comes from Draper’s Apiaries in Millerton, PA; the Organic lavender from Harm’s Vineyards & Lavender Fields in Napa, CA; their fresh raspberries and strawberries from Farmer Glenn in Green Meadow Gap, PA; and their shade grown coffee from Mut Vitz, a worker-owned Fair Trade cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico — and these are only a FEW of their partners. The company’s Urban Garden Program sources local ingredients from student farmers living in urban areas.
V-day Indulgence: Drunken Chocolate Figs- A stunning 12 piece box of chocolate covered whiskey ganache figs accompanied by a bottle of Lacrima Dolce merlot based dessert wine (375 ml) from the ultra premium Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford, PA. The pairing makes the ultimate dessert after a long romantic meal.
Oh chocolate...chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. It's all a girl really needs to make her Valentine's Day complete. With so many options to choose from, it's difficult to know which confections are truly worth the buy. Some of the most exquisite chocolate the world over is sourced using sustainable, single-origon methods. This is due to the care, passion and effort required by the producers and artisans who dedicate their lives to producing the highest quality, ethical chocolate.
These chocolatiers are among the world's finest and they offer the perfect gift ideas for the one you love.
Find out which chocolates may be the vest investment come Valentine's Day. Check out our slideshow above!
Courtesy of Kitchen Daily curator, The Culture-ist.
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