March 2009

Chocolove Dark Chocolate with Candied Ginger and Altereco Dark Twist Chocolate

Chocolove is a Boulder Colorado chocolatier that's been in business about ten years. They began marketing their chocolates to organic food stores, and gradually expanded to larger "gourmet" chains like Gelson's and Bristol Farms. Chocolove's Web site also does a brisk business. The branding and name revolves around using all natural high quality chocolate that's packaged to resemble a love letter, down to a poem printed inside each wrapper. The branding includes being very clear about the ingredients of each bar, including clearly displaying the cocoa content on the front of each bar.

I tried the "Dark Chocolate with Candied Ginger" with 65% cocoa. The chocolate is a rich, dense, Belgian chocolate made with beans from Africa and the Caribbean. The ginger is Australian crystalized ginger. The dark chocolate, and the tart, slightly "hot" quality of the ginger are a fabulous combination. This is the kind of chocolate that is best shared, or consumed slowly, possibly with the right cognac.

Dagoba Xocolatl Hot Chocolate

Dagoba is one of three chocolatier companies that belong to the Artisan Confections Company, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company. Dagoba was the brain-and-heart child of a single man, Frederick Schilling, who founded the company in 2001. His idea was to create fabulous, high quality gourmet chocolates, but to do it in a way that was sustainable, allowing chocolate production, and the delicate environments of the rain forest, the natural habitat of the cocoa plant, to flourish. Daboba embraces what they call "Full Circle Sustainability" through every facet of the business, from planting, to harvesting, to producing the chocolates, and even the retailing, and distribution arms of the com

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species is a company dedicated to making high quality chocolate with minimal negative environmental impact. Their chocolate is made with all-natural, shade-grown, "ethically traded, single-origin dark chocolate." It's also certified Kosher, Vegan, and Gluten free. The basic principles behind this company is to make extremely high quality chocolate, with minimum negative impact on the environment. Even the paper, with the cute bat on it, is recycled 30% post-consumer FSC certified paper. Each of the chocolate varieties they sell—and there are quite a few—have an endangered animal on the label or packaging. They sell larger bars, and cocoa, and bite-size bars, as well as chocolate for cooking.