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The Best Chocolate in the World

Charbonnel & Walker Chocolate

There’s never been a chocolate bar that the Belgians can’t rock. You love the confection of mandarin oranges at France’s La Maison du Chocolat. But it may surprise you that there are countries that make chocolate just as good, even better. This is the list of where to get your chocolate fix, where the countries with the best chocolate in the world may surprise you.

Since the Time of the Mayans

The search for the best chocolate in the world has a long history. There’s almost no occasion that doesn’t call for chocolate, and that’s been the case for over four centuries. In fact, ancient Mesoamerican economies are believed to have operated in large part on the value of cacao. Yes; you read that right; cacao was once currency in the early civilization.

Once a drink meant for Mayan gods, chocolate has long been lauded for its aphrodisiac qualities. Today, some of the best chocolate in the world you can get comes from South America. Although we all love what European’s did with cacao, we have to give love to the place it all started. In fact, some of the most exclusive chocolatiers in France, the UK and Belgium actually source their chocolate from these countries. Here are the countries with the best chocolate in the world.

The Country: Guatemala

Ancient Mayan communities from 450 BCE incorporated cacao in many spiritual ceremonies and rituals. In fact, the words for cacao and chocolate come from the ancient Mayan ones. The most important Mayan rulers were buried with cacao in their tombs. So, if chocolate is so important to you that you want to be buried with it, you’ve been in good company for millenia.

Guatemalan chocolate started as a drink made of the cacao beans that colonizers thought looked like a new variety of almonds. Little did they know this was the best chocolate in the world. We have much to thank for the ancient wisdom of the Mayan peoples who rightly noticed the multitude of health benefits latent in the bean.

The Local Chocolate Brand: Ixacacao Guatemala +  Criollo Chocolate

The main variety grown in Guatemala, Criollo, is also the rarest in the world. Criollo lacks the tannins that make many chocolates slightly bitter, and therefore has a creamy brightness that makes it unique. Ixacacao may not be the most expensive of the Guatemalan chocolate brands, but it is the best. The flavors like mint are subtle and elegant, and as nuanced as a French chocolate. If you didn’t already have a reason to visit Guatemala, Ixacacao is something to travel for.

The Country: Ecuador

The first varieties of cacao have a brighter, fruitier flavor then we may be used to. The Amazon basin in Ecuador has the perfect sunny conditions and volcanic soil to produce cacao that has been grown for up to 5,300 years. The most common variety, Arriba, which has notes of caramel and vanilla makes for beautiful dark and milk bars.

Today, Ecuador boasts incredible chocolate tours which can take you through the region to experience the different tastes of varieties grown in different climates. Despite the rich history of chocolate use in ancient economies, the production was taken over by plantation owners in the 1800’s. However, a plague decimated bean production, and now, Ecuadorian producers have reclaimed their chocolate industry.

In Yasuni National Park, hundreds of women now produce cacao in incredibly biodiverse lands which boosts production and helps support their communities. They’re also committed to protecting the Amazon rainforests. The best chocolate in the world comes from the best producers.

The Local Chocolate Brand: To’ak

You want your chocolate to be made like fine wine — long, slow, and from the rarest cacao in the world. To’ak blends the finest cocoa with flavors to produce bars and hot chocolate mixes that are themselves an entire experience. Better yt, the brand is committed to sourcing sustainably, and driving initiatives geafed towards saving the rainforest.


The Country: Cote d’Ivoire

Chocolate is another reclaimed art for the people of Cote d’Ivoire, who produce the world’s largest quantity of chocolate. Colonial powers have restricted growers from selling their beans autonomously, preventing the country from fully realizing their chocolate ways. However, growers in the region are now starting to produce products locally, which bring in much more revenue, and add to the diversity of the growing sector of the economy.

Bonus for all of us is that now, producers are selling products like the chocolate bars which European and American buyers love, and are extending the butters, pastries, spreads, and other delicacies. Ivorian farmers have also begun developing strains with properties that give the plants higher and quicker yields. The best chocolate in the world comes from the people with generations of knowledge.

The Local Chocolate Brand: Bonnat Chocolat Cote d’Ivoire

Bonnat Chocolat has a long history producing some of the most decadent chocolate in the world. The Cote D’Ivoire bar has notes of chamomile and other florals which give way to a smooth coconut finish.


Related Articles:

The Best Chocolate in Florence
Top Chocolate Brands from around the World
Two-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse 

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