The 19 Most Indulgent + Earth-Friendly Chocolates

Socially minded artisans the world over are producing fine bars that are not just delicious but also good for people and the planet.

December 21, 2015
cacao bean
Michael Hanson/offset

At its heart, chocolate is an agricultural product, made from the seeds of the cacao tree. The best chocolate is from small cacao farms where—unlike in industrial cacao farming—the trees have not been sprayed with insecticide or fungicide. Such cacao is not just better for farmers and the environment; when processed with care, it has a more complex flavor as well, with notes that can range from fig to molasses, raisins, even orange and bergamot. Those notes shine through most intensely in single-origin bars, where cocoa comes from just one source—for example, a farming cooperative or a single farm (such as that of Venezuelan cacao farmer Vicente Fuentes, shown). Sampling them is not only a geography lesson but also an education in taste.

It’s a great time to be a chocolate lover. Socially minded artisans the world over are producing fine chocolate that’s not just delicious but also good for people and the planet. These bars, caringly crafted from responsibly sourced ingredients, make the world a sweeter place, one cocoa bean at a time.

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1. No campfire is needed to enjoy Liddabit Sweets The S’More Candy Bar, featuring graham cracker, milk chocolate, bruléed marshmallow, and a smoky ganache.

2. Chocolat Bonnat Haiti is made with beans from Haitian cooperatives.

3. Waialua Estate from Hawaii has notes of molasses.

4. Lightly salted peanut butter suffuses the Lake Champlain Organic Peanut Butter bar.

5. Chipotle and popping candy make the Chuao Firecracker bar crackle with flavor.

6. Subtly tannic Just Good Chocolate Belize is an organic, direct-trade bar.

7. The creamy white Original Beans Edel Weiss bar is made from direct-trade, biodynamic cocoa butter.

8. The Madécasse Toasted Coconut dark bar is dense with shredded coconut.

9. A blend of dark and milk chocolates brings a caramel flavor to the lightly salted Fruition Dark Milk with Flor de Sal.

10. Made with coconut milk and unroasted beans, the vegan Raaka Coconut Milk bar has a deep coconut flavor.

11. Rich cocoa butter complements the rough grind in Taza Dark Stone Ground Chocolate Organic Alto Beni.

12. Alter Eco Dark Velvet organic chocolate bar has deep brownie notes.

13. The Grenada Chocolate Company Nib-a-licious bar is full of crunchy organic cocoa nibs.

14. As pure as it gets, Le 100% Criollo bar from François Pralus contains just organic cocoa and a smidge of GMO-free soya lecithin.

15. A cooperative in Ghana provides the beans for the Divine Milk Chocolate bar.

16. Biodynamic Pacari Montubia is crafted in Ecuador.

17. Luscious Amano Dos Rios Dominican Republic has a whiff of bergamot.

18. Intensely fudgy, the Askinosie Tanzania bar features direct-trade cocoa.

19. With deep cocoa notes, Rogue Chocolatier Jamaica is one of a line of single-origin bars.

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