Vigdis' 70% Dark chocolate ‘Kiteni’ became ‘Best in competition’ overall winner among dark chocolates at our 2023 World Final Competition. Crafted from the rare Chuncho cocoa, renowned for its floral and fruity essence, this chocolate encapsulates a truly unique taste. Among cocoa varieties, Chuncho stands out as a remarkably aromatic gem—some even consider it the pinnacle of cocoa fragrance. Within the Kiteni district, a particular strain of Chuncho boasts a distinct rose-like flavor. This discovery inspired Rosenkilde to create a chocolate that celebrates this exceptional cocoa variant.
The Best Chocolate in The World 2023
In the enchanting Tuscan countryside, the stage was set for the 2023 International Chocolate Awards World Final, a celebration of the finest chocolates worldwide. Hosted at the opulent Villa Castelletti near Florence, Italy, this event drew artisans and connoisseurs from across the globe, transcending borders to honor the zenith of chocolate craftsmanship.
Participants, both physically present and online, hailed from diverse corners of the world, including Taiwan, Japan, the USA, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, and Italy. Noteworthy attendees, like co-founder Maricel Presilla from New Jersey, joined passionate entrants who embodied the pinnacle of the global craft chocolate industry.
Despite minor technical hiccups, the ceremony unfolded seamlessly, evoking an atmosphere teeming with excitement and heartfelt emotions. Tears of elation streamed down the faces of winners as they were bestowed the prestigious World Final Gold prize, a true testament to their exceptional contributions to the craft chocolate realm.
Within Villa Castelletti's ceremony room, vibrant backdrops adorned with national and regional representations served as picturesque settings. Attendees joyously immortalized the moment, capturing selfies with their well-deserved certificates.
The announcement of winners was graced by co-founders Monica Meschini and Maricel Presilla, alongside esteemed Grand Jury members Michaela Schupp and George Gensler.
Broadcasted live on their Facebook page, the event was accessible for all to witness. The judging panel, comprising experts from various corners of the world and international Grand Jury members, evaluated entries in a hybrid format—part in-person in Florence and part remotely in October 2023.
Anonymity characterized the judging process, culminating in the Grand Jury's private voting session to award Golds, Silvers, and Bronzes as per their rules. The ceremony celebrated winners walking away with a remarkable array of accolades, with some individuals and brands claiming 10-15 awards, a testament to their unwavering dedication to quality craftsmanship.
Noteworthy achievers of the evening included Fu Wan from Taiwan with 18 prizes, Mikkel Friis-Holm from Denmark with 14 prizes plus 9 specials, and Goodnow Farms from the USA with 12 prizes. Italy's dominance in nut-based categories was evident through makers like Guido Castagna, Depetris Riccardo, and the Gardini brothers. Women chocolatiers also shone brightly, with Monia Achille, Francesca Caon, and Stefania Massera securing numerous accolades for their innovative creations.
Queenie from Q Sweet (Taiwan) expressed heartfelt gratitude, emphasizing her commitment to championing women in the chocolate industry and inspiring more female involvement in chocolate-making.
The competition witnessed an unprecedented level of excellence, with all overall winners scoring above 90 points. The highest accolade, a score of 94.4, was awarded to Guido Castagna (Italy) for his legendary 'Giuinott,' a traditional Italian gianduiotto crafted meticulously with the finest hazelnuts from Piedmont and dark chocolate.
The List Of World Final Winners 2023
"Best in Competition" Overall Winners
Vigdis Rosenkilde - Kiteni 70% (SCORE 91.6 OF 100) - Norway
Chaleur B Chocolat - Milk 51% (90.6 of 100) - Canada
In 2023 the 51% milk chocolate bar by the Canadian Chaleur B Chocolat was named the world's best milk chocolate. This milk chocolate is crafted from 51% cocoa beans, blended with skimmed milk, sugar, and vanilla pods to create a classic treat that delights chocolate enthusiasts. It symbolizes a nostalgic journey back to our roots—a homage to childhood through these timeless skimmed milk-infused chocolates.
Plain/Origin Chocolate Bars
Vigdis Rosenkilde - Kiteni 70% - GOLD (SCORE 91.6 OF 100) - Norway
Vigdis Rosenkilde's 'Kiteni' 70% Dark Chocolate clinched the prestigious 'Best in competition' title at our 2023 World Final Competition, triumphing among an array of dark chocolates. Handcrafted from the esteemed Chuncho cocoa, renowned for its floral and fruity essence, this chocolate promises an unparalleled taste experience. The Chuncho cocoa is revered for its extraordinary aroma, often hailed as the epitome of cocoa fragrance within the realm of cocoa varieties. In the Kiteni district, a specific strain of Chuncho unveils a unique rose-like flavor, sparking Rosenkilde's inspiration to fashion a chocolate that pays homage to this exceptional cocoa variation.
Vigdis Rosenkilde - Santa Ana 70% - SILVER (SCORE 89.3 Of 100) - Norway
Located on the banks of the Urubamba River within Peru's Cusco region, Santa Ana is home to the Cooperativa Alto Urubamba. This cooperative works hand in hand with more than 100 farmers, passionately committed to elevating cocoa cultivation through comprehensive training in plantation preparation. The outcome? Outstanding ingredients and an abundance of premium cocoa batches available for selection. Vigdis couldn't help but overflow with excitement upon discovering the cocoa utilized in this chocolate, expressing her joy with an exuberant squeal.
MEYBOL CACAO - VRAEM 68% - Silver (SCORE 90.1 OF 100) - Germany
Artisanally crafted chocolate, meticulously produced from 68% fine flavor cocoa sourced from naturally cultivated cacao in Peru's VRAEM region. Every step, from bean to bar, is lovingly curated to showcase the exquisite flavors derived from this pristine cocoa, cultivated amidst the lush landscapes of the VRAEM region in Peru.
McGuire Chocolate - Santa Maria 70% - SILVER (SCORE 89.7 OF 100) - Canada
McGuire Chocolate's Santa Maria 70% is a paradise for chocolate enthusiasts. Meticulously composed using premium ingredients, this exceptional dark chocolate stands among the finest globally, presenting a harmonious blend of sweet dried fruit and delicate nutty undertones. Treat your palate to the indulgence of this exquisite 70% cocoa delight.
Meybol Cacao - Collection N5 - SILVER (88.3 OF 100) - Germany
Impeccably handcrafted chocolate from tree to bar, created using 70% ultra-premium fine-flavor Chuncho cocoa sourced from the Cusco/Quillabamba region in Peru. Embark on a journey through the diverse world of Chuncho cocoa with Meybol's exclusive Genotype Collections. Each of these curated sets showcases unique Chuncho cocoa genotypes, comprising around 50 meticulously chosen trees. These invaluable collections face the threat of disappearing, emphasizing the crucial need to protect their unparalleled traits. Meybol Cacao takes great care in handpicking selections from these trees, preserving and honoring their exceptional characteristics through meticulous curation.
Feliu Chocolate - Soconusco 71% - Silver (Score 88 of 100) - Mexico
Crafted from a blend of hybrid and Criollo cocoa varieties hailing from the Soconusco region in southern Chiapas, this exquisite plain vegan dark chocolate defines gourmet indulgence.
Feliu Chocolate - Soconusco 100% - Bronze (Score 86.5 of 100) - Mexico
Sourced solely from Soconusco, Chiapas, this sugar-free dark chocolate bar undergoes an intricate journey. The cocoa undergoes fermentation, roasting, refining, and a deliberate aging process of at least two months. This meticulous method results in a delicate profile, featuring fruity notes, nutty undertones, and a hint of subtle acidity.
Chaleur B Chocolat - Milk 51% - Gold (Score 90.6 of 100) - Canada
Chaleur B Chocolat's Vanilla organic white chocolate offers a lusciously creamy experience. Its richness, coupled with a subtle hint of vanilla extract, makes it an exceptional and dependable ingredient, perfect for baking endeavors.
Chaleur B Chocolate - Vegan White Chocolate - Bronze (Score 87.3 of 100)- Canada
Immerse yourself in Chaleur's dairy-free white chocolate, meticulously crafted from natural, non-deodorized cocoa butter, tiger nuts, cane sugar, and vanilla. Embracing the nourishing qualities of tiger nuts, this exquisite creation stands as a perfect substitute for cow's milk, addressing lactose intolerance and meeting the needs of vegan diets. Beyond its adaptability, it introduces a unique and exotic flavor profile, adding a delightful twist to your chocolate experience.
Flavored Chocolate Bars
Pacari Chocolate - Lemon Verbena - Silver (Score 89.00 of 100) - Ecuador
Indulge in the enchanting blend of bold vegan dark chocolate interlaced with the subtle notes of zesty lemon in PACARI Organic Chocolate Andean Lemon Verbena. This seamless union is expertly crafted, yielding an irresistible medley of flavors that captivate the senses in a harmonious symphony.
Pacari Chocolate - Rica Rica - Silver (87.1 of 100) - Ecuador
Pacari enhances its classic dark chocolate by infusing it with Rica Rica, an aromatic herb that lives up to its name. The result is an indulgent experience, elevating this chocolate to be among the finest in the world.
Pacari Chocolate - Passion Fruit - Bronze (Score 86.6 of 100) - Ecuador
Our blend of premium dark chocolate and succulent passion fruit has quickly become a cherished favorite, and it's easy to see why. Let this chocolate gracefully melt on your tongue, carrying you away to the tropics with its cascading waves of tropical flavors. Take a bite, and you'll sense the sensation of lounging under the sun on Ecuador's famed beaches.
Pacari Chocolate - Lemongrass - Bronze (86.2 of 100) - Ecuador
Paccari's Dark Chocolate infused with Lemongrass presents a truly distinctive and tantalizing fusion, marrying the rich allure of dark chocolate with the vibrant essence of lemongrass. This exquisite blend encapsulates the essence of indulgence, bringing together two beloved flavors in a harmonious symphony that delights the senses and leaves a lasting impression with its unparalleled taste.
Feliu Chocolate - Pitaya De Mayo 58% - Bronze (Score 86.1 of 100) - Mexico
Gourmet dark chocolate, meticulously infused with Pitaya de Mayo, the exotic fruit derived from the Mexican cactus, also recognized as prickly pear. In the realm of bean-to-bar chocolate, surprises often emerge through inventive ingredients, and the inclusion of cactus pear—alias Prickly Pear or Tuna Fruit—epitomizes this creativity. Despite its misleading moniker, this fruit springs from the prickly pear cactus, resembling the shape and size of a pear. Be ready for a whirlwind of flavors: the initial spiciness tantalizes your taste buds, swiftly altering your perception of flavors. Picture the sensation of savoring watermelon juice—that's the distinctive taste lingering within this chocolate bar, complemented by delicate undertones of strawberry coulis. In the backdrop, a hint of sweet and acidic Seckel Pear emerges, while subtle notes of vanilla gracefully dance across your palate.
Vigdis Rosenkilde - Piura 70% with Nibs - Silver (90.2 of 100) - Norway
The complexity of flavors in this chocolate isn't a result of artificial additives; instead, they naturally unfold from the cocoa, meticulously handled at every step of the process. The Piura Criollo cocoa takes center stage, boasting a high concentration of white cocoa beans, which yields one of the most refined cocoa profiles globally. This exceptional cocoa variety brings forth delightful notes of citrus, dried fruits, caramel, and nuts, orchestrating a harmonious blend of flavors. Renowned for its subtle character, Piura Criollo lends itself exceptionally well to cocoa nibs, imparting a delightful crunch to this chocolate bar. Vigdis personally sources this cocoa from farmer Elias Cruz in Piura, located in northern Peru, ensuring the highest quality and adhering to ethical standards. Her packaging reflects thoughtful craftsmanship, utilizing textured recycled paper, inviting you to embark on the journey from cocoa fruit to the creation of this exceptional chocolate bar.
Pacari Chocolate - Raw 101% (Score 89.7 of 100) - Ecuador
Pacari Raw 101%, an exceptionally distinctive sugar-free chocolate encounter. Formulated exclusively with the finest Ecuadorian beans celebrated for their outstanding flavor, this masterpiece earns an additional 1% distinction through the inclusion of skillfully scattered unroasted Ecuadorian cocoa nibs gracing its surface.
McGuire Chocolate - Pumpkin Spice 46% (Score 87.8 of 100) - Canada
Immerse yourself in the finest chocolate, meticulously created to indulge both your pumpkin and chocolate desires simultaneously. Encounter the luscious and velvety opulence of milk chocolate, expertly fashioned with authentic pumpkin and a delightful fusion of spices. Packaged for convenient on-the-go enjoyment, it stands as your ideal companion for those moments when you crave it most.
Our Guide to Single-origin Chocolate: A Hunt For FlavorIn the universe of fine craft bean-to-bar chocolate, there exists a category that stands out for its depth of flavor, complexity, and unique character: single-origin chocolate. Unlike blended chocolates, which combine beans from various regions, single-origin chocolate is crafted using cocoa beans sourced exclusively from one particular geographic location. This distinction is not merely a matter of marketing; it influences the taste and texture of the final product, offering connoisseurs a sensorial journey through the terroir of cocoa.
Our Guide to the Best Mexican Chocolate 2023The Winners of the 1st Mexican Cacao Country Support Competition, also known as the 1er Concurso Nacional de Chocolate Mexicano, were officially announced by The International Chocolate Awards last year. The judging process took place both in Mexico and internationally, with evaluations conducted by a diverse panel of judges and the Grand Jury throughout October 2023.
World's Best Chocolate: Our Guide to The International Chocolate Awards WinnersLike you, we wouldn't rely on baseless assertions. That's why we place our trust in the International Chocolate Awards, often referred to as the "Chocolate Oscar." This esteemed accolade aids us in discovering and delivering the most exceptional fine chocolate crafted worldwide from the finest cacao.