I recently attended a small chocolate show sponsored by the Global Cocoa Project, an organization that’s working to raise awareness about Fair Trade practices in the cocoa industry. One of the best things about the show was learning that some of my favorite chocolate bars are produced by companies who are also comitted to fair trade. You can read more about Fair Trade chocolate here.
I liked almost everything at the show but there were two standouts.
The first was Bonnat’s Côte d’Ivoire 75% bar which uses beans from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. Tasting this chocolate was like eating a scoop of artisanal ice cream. It melted in your mouth and the flavor was dispersed perfectly. It reminded me of another Bonnat bar, the 75% Cacao real del Xoconuzco bar from Mexico which I consider my favorite all-time chocolate bar when price is not an object. The Xoconuzco bar retails for $19-$25. A friend gave me one after the chocolate show last Novermber and it blew my mind (I swear I wasn’t influenced by the price!).
The second bar that stood out was the Valrhona Gran Couva – Limited Edition 64% “Estate Bar” from Trinidad which had a stronger, darker, chocolate flavor than the Bonnat but still maintained an impressive smoothness that you would expect from in a 64% bar. Valrhona offers one of these bars every year for a limited time. I could easily live off these two dark chocolate bars for quite some time without getting tired of either of them.
Bonnat chocolate bars are available in NYC at The Sweet Life, located at 63 Hester St. (@ Ludlow St.) Their website is here. Valrhona chocolate can be found all over the place in New York City (Whole Foods, Barzinni’s, etc.)