Eating chocolate is like dating: If you’ve been doing either for a while, you’ve (hopefully) become skilled at identifying the good from the bad. You wish you learned how to tell the difference sooner, and that you could share that knowledge with your younger self. But would your younger self listen?
Enter: indie chocolate bars – where have they been all your life? Time to move on from the stale, fake, boring junk you keep running into in the check-out aisle at Rite Aid. You deserve better. You deserve rich and beautiful – the experience of elegance and quality ingredients (like good hair, or Madagascar 75% cacao). You deserve indie chocolate.
Allow us to introduce you to our six favorite suitors: Tall, dark and handsome – total hunks. We took the liberty of getting their numbers:
Coconut And Salted Caramel Bar – Plenty have figured out the glory that is moist coconut covered in chocolate, but Mayana’s husband-and-wife team Daniel and Tamara Herskovic took it to a whole new level. A crispy coconut cookie sits beneath a layer of creamy coconut. And that sits beneath a luscious layer of salted caramel. It’s all drenched in 66% dark chocolate dusted with coconut flurries. Don’t forget to send pics from the honeymoon.
Malted Dark Milk Chocolate Bar – French Broad Chocolate is all about local, organic and sustainable (they even have a solar-powered cacao roaster!). This creamy, rich, dark milk chocolate bar is made with malted barley flour from Asheville's Riverbend Malt House and milled by Carolina Ground. With hints of nutmeg and cinnamon and a little texture thanks to the local grass-fed, organic milk powder they use, it's like a malted milk ball transformed into a sophisticated chocolate bar. Dreamy.
Vanilla Nougat Caramel Bar – Mayana calls their vanilla nougat caramel bar "The Space Bar," because they say you'll probably want some alone time with it (keep it G). Cut it in half (not necessarily to share, but to make googley eyes at its inner beauty) and you’ll notice a layer of gooey caramel perched atop a snowy white bed of nougat studded with nuts. You’ll think this is so light it could be a one-night stand, but it’s deeper than you think – you’ll definitely want a second date.
Hazelnut Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar – This bar is a triple-threat of Mouth maker collaboration. Alma borrowed 70% dark chocolate from Woodblock (see below), another Portland-based chocolatier, and blended it into the creamiest praline. The organic dark chocolate shell gets a bright sprinkling of sea salt from none other than Oregon's Jacobsen Salt Co. We love when our makers get in long term relationships with each other!
Madagascar 75% Dark Chocolate Bar – Lusciously creamy and fruity with the flavor of dark berries and all wrapped up with a deep cocoa finish... this bar is a total knockout. Just two simple ingredients make the magic: organic cocoa beans from Åkesson’s plantation in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar and organic cane sugar. That's right. Two. Rounding out an already stellar treat is the stunning design. Each bar is molded with a single feather, then wrapped with recycled craft paper (be still our hearts!), designed and printed in Twenty-Four Blackbirds' small, Santa Barbara workshop. We carefully unwrapped ours and pinned it straight to our “relationship goals” inspiration board.
Salted Dark Chocolate Bar With Nibs – Portland, Oregon-based Woodblock Chocolate is the delicious result of years of artistic endeavors from wife-and-husband team Jessica and Charley Wheelock. Working simply with the best single-origin cacao beans, sugar and salt, they create stunning little bars that are as deeply flavorful as they are beautifully executed. Working with the same base chocolate of 70% Carenero cacao as Woodblock's salt bar, the Wheelocks add fruity, nutty cacao nibs (crunched-up cacao beans) to bring out some roasted radiance and a forgiving, addictive crunch. Now that’s a bar you can bring home to Mom.
Trust us: Once you get a taste of these indie chocolate bars, you’ll never be able to waste time with anything else ever again.
You go, girl.