Chocolates With Extraordinary Flavor: Gift Ideas for Chocoholics
Give the Gift of REAL Chocolate
I have some recently discovered alternative, organic and fair trade chocolates to recommend that will leave a warm impression on your recipients mind and heart, as opposed to an achy pang in the gut and a less than guilt-free conscious. If you have read my other hubs about chocolate, then you know I am a recent convert to the organic and fair trade chocolate movement.
If you're going to give chocolate as a gift, why not give chocolate that is wax and additive free, complex in flavor, and that actually does something good for the environment and/or the workers who allow us to enjoy this popular treat?
Before You Purchase Chocolate for Someone Else
Take into consideration...
1. Do they prefer milk or dark chocolate?
2. Do they like nuts?
3. Do they like fruits?
4. Do they like spicy food?
5. Are they adventurous eaters?
Answering these questions will help you determine the perfect chocolate(s) for that special person in your life.
Here Are Some of My Recent Chocolate Picks
Most of these chocolates can be purchased at your local organic/progressive food store, or online.
Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate: “Lemongrass”
1. Before you do anything else, take a big whiff of this chocolate. There is something deeply calming about the lemongrass, and that calming morphs into cooling once placed on your tongue. If you can (I know, it’s hard) let it melt and you will notice some floral notes (I taste roses). Made from Ecuadorian Arriba cacao, this bar is smooth, fine, light and scrumptious. One of my all-time favorites, without a doubt. On a side note: Pacari Chocolate is the first single-origin organic chocolate made entirely in Ecuador. Although not technically certified Fair Trade, they do claim to produce “according to fair and equitable standards.”
Madécasse: “Exotic Pepper”
2. Made with 70% cocoa, and three types of pepper—Black Pepper, Pink Pepper and Tsiperifery Pepper, this bar is certainly memorable with its soft spicy notes and hints of brown hay. Yes, hay. If that doesn’t pique your interest, I’m not sure what will... Always a great conversation starter, this is a great gift for anyone who likes pepper, an exotic flavor profile, or just trying something new and slightly strange. On a side note: Madécassee was named one of the World’s “50 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company Magazine in 2011.
The moment you put a piece of this in your mouth, you will taste a fruity, flowery mixture of orange oil and orange zest. The chocolate is dark, 70% cacao, but with the addition of ground vanilla bean, it's a relatively mellow dark. A classic pairing, citrus and chocolate have come a long way with this offering from Theo, who is the first certified Fair Trade and Fair for Life chocolate maker. No wonder this stuff is award winning!
Salazon Chocolate Co.: “Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Crushed Organic Coffee”
Yes, you read correctly, salt AND coffee IN chocolate. Together. This is by far the most beautiful chocolate I have seen in bar form—both the stamped image on the front (see title image), as well as the grainy and gritty backside. Obviously,you have to be a coffee aficionado (I am) to appreciate this one—if you are, prepare yourself. The first taste that hits you is the salt, followed by the bitterness of the coffee, and finally, the sweetness of the cane juice, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and vanilla for a sweet, smooth finish without any jitters. This company is Organic Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and they feature customer-submitted photographs of their adventures on their labels.
For More Organic Chocolate
- Organic Chocolate VS. Regular Chocolate
Organic Chocolate is more expensive than regular, Big Name chocolate. It is also healthier, better for the environment, and tastes blissfully delicious. Now that I know what organic really means, I can never go back. Read on to learn whether you’re e
For More Fair Trade Chocolate
- What Is Fair Trade Chocolate?
Contrary to popular belief, Fair Trade and Organic are NOT interchangeable terms. This means that while organic chocolate may be good for your health and the environment, it’s not necessarily good for the farmers and workers who grow, cultivate and p
Ode to Chocolate
For me, the best gift of all is tasty, unforgettable food. It’s something that engages all of the senses, and something that is meant to be shared. Enjoy!