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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Chocolates We Love; Why & Where to Buy

Chocolates We Love; Why & Where to Buy

Contributed by Katy Morris

Ready to drool? Once again, we are bringing you our favorite velvety rich chocolates- sure to lift your spirits, soothe your soul and chase off the winter blues. Most are kosher, some are vegan, all are chocolate products you just gotta try.

DO leave a comment if you are a fan of any of these businesses or if you have a favorite chocolate company that should be included in our next favorite products post.

 

Taza Chocolate

Taza Chocolate
Taza Chocolate

 

Massachusetts-based, Mexico-inspired Taza Chocolate offers minimally processed, stone ground, kosher certified, organic chocolate, made with the highest quality cacao beans out there. Taza partners directly with USDA certified organic cacao farms in Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Belize, and goes above and beyond in their fair trade practice by providing farmers with a premium for their beans.

If you are ever in Somerville, MA, be sure to visit them for an exclusive Factory Tour to get the inside scoop on how they craft these unique chocolate treats using authentic Mexican stone mills.

 

 

sweetriot

sweetriot
sweetriot

 

Eat chocolate and be socially responsible – yes, please! Not only are the colorfully packaged, playfully named chocolate bars from sweetriot (like kickin’ coconut and fabulous flax) full of nutritious, natural ingredients, but each purchase directly supports Latin American farmers from whom the cacao beans are sourced.

Founder Sarah Endline created the NYC-based chocolate company with a lofty, admirable social mission to “create a more just and celebrated, multicultural world for our next generation,” and that’s exactly what she’s doing, one sweet treat at a time.

 

 

Askinosie

 

Askinosie
Askinosie

 

Anyone who is kosher like me likes to know where their food comes from, and Askinosie sure makes it easy. On the front of their chocolate bars, you come face-to-face with the cocoa farmers themselves – talk about traceability! You can even learn the whole story of your own scrumptious bar by entering it’s unique “Choc-O-Lot” number on their website.

There is so much to appreciate about this small, Missouri based company (that not only churns out chocolate bars, but drinks, spreads, powder, nibs, and baking chocolate as well), it is hard to sum it up here. We really like that the founder, Shawn Askinosie, visits Tanzania, Ecuador, Honduras and the Philippines regularly to work directly with cocoa farmers and source the very best cocoa beans using fair trade practices. But we love that his involvement in these developing countries doesn’t stop there.

Through their Product of Change program, they work with the communities where their beans originate to provide school lunches for malnourished students. They even started a Chocolate University that brings Missouri high school students on a bean to bar adventure in Tanzania, where they learn about direct trade methods, cacao agronomy and the Tanzanian culture. This chocolate will surely make you feel food from the inside out!

 

 

 

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Lake Champlain Chocolates
Lake Champlain Chocolates

 

Handcrafted in small batches using all natural local Vermont maple syrup, sweet cream, honey and butter, and cocoa beans sourced using fair trade practices, the chocolates from Lake Champlain are right up our alley. They have a whole line of organic chocolate bars and squares in flavors ranging from classic dark chocolate and peanut butter to spicy Aztec and creamy coconut.

And in addition to being certified kosher, Lake Champlain Chocolates even earned Fair For Life – Social & Fair Trade Certification, proving their commitment to social accountability and fair trade. You can find their products in over 2,000 specialty shops nationwide or simply order online.

 

 

Buddha Chocolate

Buddha Chocolate
Buddha Chocolate

 

We knew it was love at first bite with Buddha Chocolate’s handmade raw, organic, vegan, soy free, dairy free, kosher friendly treats, and our feelings for them are as strong as ever. In fact, this year we are nuts about them for a whole new reason. After picking up and moving out west to Portland, Oregon, they’ve successfully churned out their new Craft Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, made with ethically sourced cacao from Ecuador and carefully poured and packaged by hand.

 

 

Chocholistic

photo: Chocholistic
photo: Chocholistic

 

Back here on the east coast where you can find chocolate makers galore right in your own backyard, Chocholistic’s Kenzie Harrick has also gone a little nuts (in a good way). She recently unveiled her sugar-free Almond Protein Bar, packed with 12 grams of protein and loads of rich almond flavor and so far they have been flying off the shelves!

What else is cookin’ with Chocolistic?  They are! After several years of making raw chocolate, they’ve decided to switch over to a more modern method of chocolate creation that entails heating the beans “as it will offer [them] the best way to provide shelf-stability when reaching out to stores.”  We are thrilled for Kenzie and the rest of the Chocholistic team as they continue to expand their business!

 

 

LeRouge

 

Le Rouge
Le Rouge

 

 

We are also psyched about the recent opening of Aarti Khosla’s first chocolate shop in downtown Westport, CT. While you can still get the globally inspired, handmade chocolates online, locals can head over to the café/shop to get your hands on them and even sit and relax with a hot cappuccino, espresso, or of course, hot chocolate drink.

Over the last year, she has also introduced a unique line of gluten-free, eggless chocolate cakes, including apple cinnamon, saffron pistachio and dark chocolate & raspberry mousse. Mmm.

 

8 Comments

  1. Yay! Mass based TaZa…I’m a huge fan. This is no nonsense or fillers. Delicious chocolate made made with pure ingredients. And while I admit I haven’t done the factory tour, its a favorite amongst my chocolate loving friends. Indulge….its totally worth it!

  2. Taza chocolate is the best!! Delicious and pure. I found it by chance at Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard a few months ago. Makes a great cup of hot chocolate. Thrilled that I can buy it locally.

  3. Just ordered a lovely gift box from Taza Chocolates. The website was very easy and you could send a gift note along. Looks great and you can never go wrong following Liz’s suggestions! Thanks Liz for doing all the research on our behalf! Sharon

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