The Best Chocolate in the World 2022
International Chocolate Awards was an undeniable authority in finding the best fine chocolate from around the world made from the best cacao. It was founded in 2012 and now it's the most reliable award you can use as guidance for navigating an exciting craft chocolate industry. We simply refer to it as the Chocolate Oscar.
The awards have a professional jury board that is very passionate about the quality of fine chocolate and its overall sustainability metrics like fair trade, and social and environmental impact. The awards consist of several regional competitions that filter chocolate products that reach the world finals. And the quality of the finalists is always impeccable.
But in 2022 happened something truly remarkable that highlighted the new stage for the craft fine chocolate industry. The average final scores for the winners skyrocketed during the 2022 Finals which confirmed that the innovations and the quality of craft fine chocolate raised the bar to a new high leaving mass-market and pseudo-fine chocolates far behind. The highest-scoring products in origin dark and milk chocolate bars were announced as overall winners of this year’s competition. This season’s overall winners came from Peru, an important and historical fine cacao-growing country, and Thailand, a growing country with an ever-evolving craft chocolate scene.
So, without further ado, meet the best fine chocolate brands of 2022.
Over the last few years, Thai chocolate makers have stepped up their game, creating world-class artisanal bars that we can be proud of. And PARADAi is one of those brands. This award-winning crafted chocolate maker has gained a reputation for its highly creative and quality products made from cacao sourced from Nakhon Si Thammarat and other parts of the country. PARADAi dedicates a significant amount of time and effort to every step of the chocolate-making process, from selecting cacao seeds to crafting flavours to production. The result is an impressive array of chocolates in unconventional flavours inspired by local cuisine. All these bars were created by Phurich Tanawut, one of the founders of PARADAi and a self-taught chocolate maker.
PARADAi Chanthaburi 70% - The Best Dark Chocolate 2022
In 2022 “Chantaburi Dark 70%” became the best unflavoured dark chocolate bar, made by PARADAi, a small micro-batch chocolate maker in Thailand, with a fabulous score of 91.8 out of 100 on the chocolate scale, which is one of the highest we have seen for the past several years. PARADAi was awarded with a Special Gold as Chocolate Maker and for Direct and FairTrade. The bar has a boozy-fruit flavour, like tropical fruits in rum or maybe tequila.SHOP HERE
NakhonSi Dark 70% with Coconut Sugar - Plain / origin chocolate bars with alternative ingredients - Gold
A lot of people believe that coconut sugar is a better and more sustainable substitute for traditional cane sugar. Although the evidence is scarce and very often the flavour of coconut sugar balances out the flavour of cacao, fine chocolate makers continue to experiment with adding it to their bars. And this bar by PARADAi is one of the rare examples that succeeded to find the right balance between the two.SHOP HERE
NakhonSi Dark 65% with Palo Spices - Dark chocolate bars with infusion or flavouring - Silver
Another more common name for Palo is Five-spices Powder and it is one of the crucial ingredients in Asian cuisine. It is a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, and fennel seeds. It encompasses all five tastes—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. This full-package set features single-origin bars land Thai-flavours-infused Palo Five Spices 70% chocolates featuring PARADAi’s artwork galloping picturing Asian patterns and gods, with the silhouettes of cacao pods—three of PARADAi’s most distinctive physical features—towering in the background. Bonus points: numerous international chocolate awards make for one hell of a gift for any chocolate lover.SHOP HERE
At Spanish Puchero we find some entrepreneurs who produce award-winning chocolate and also specialty coffee. An Italian from Turin came to Valladolid and fell in love with a woman from Valladolid, then they went to London together where they discovered the art of specialty coffee and the value of good chocolate. They decided to return and develop their passion for coffee and chocolate next to the family restaurant and farm. There they produce chocolates with cocoa from different sources and also offer surprises such as their chocolate with a croissant or their award-winning chocolate with pine nuts - so typical of the area.
Puchero Pine Nuts 50% - Dark chocolate bars with infusion or flavouring - Silver
A pine (Pinus Pinea) takes between 20 and 30 years to produce pine nuts. A pine cone takes 3 years to form, first it is like marble or “chota”, then a small ball or “perindola” and finally it grows and acquires its final size, with removable pine nuts. Piñonsol is a cooperative from Pedrajas de San Esteban, very close to Puchero's factory in Nothern Spain, created to directly market the pine nuts. Soconusco in southern Mexico is the birthplace of the “cacao real”, the royal cacao, consumed by the Aztec kings and priests. Sourced from smallholder farmers, this organic cacao from Soconusco has balanced acidity, full-body profile and distinct flavours of dried fruits, nuts and several spices.SHOP HERE
Chocolate Sierra Sagrada was born from the idea of the biologist Marco Caraballo Pérez and the industrial microbiologist Andrea Díaz Ovalle, who in addition to being the founding partners of C & D CACAO SAS, the Colombian company that owns the brand, have been passionate about chocolate since they were children, so deciding undertake, with the pleasant surprise of falling madly in love with the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and its wonderful cocoa. The company is located in Santa Marta, department of Magdalena, in the north of Colombia and we are 100% dedicated to the production and marketing of high-quality premium dark chocolate.The origin of the cocoa beans is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest intertropical coastal mountain in Colombia and on the planet and the fifth highest peak in the world. The Sierra Nevada is declared by UNESCO as a Biosphere and Man Reserve and in its vicinity is located the National Natural Park that bears the same name and adjacent to it the Tayrona National Natural Park, both areas exuberant in biodiversity, endemic to species of fauna and flora having functioned as a refuge from the Pleistocene.It is also the sacred place of four indigenous peoples (Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas and Kankuamos) who have protected, preserved and guarded their natural wealth for thousands of years, making spiritual payments to mother earth, in gratitude for crops such as cocoa. The Arhuaco people that inhabit this imposing massif cultivate white cocoa or “bunsi” as it is called in the Iku language, a Criollo beans that is distinguished by its soft, less bitter and aromatic notes, giving magic to the chocolates.
Sierra Sagrada - Sierra Nevada 72% - Micro-batch Plain/Origin Dark Chocolate Bar - Silver
Enjoy premium chocolate made with cocoa from a sacred territory the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta - the Heart of the World. The maker operates from Santa Marta, Colombia and makes absolutely delicious single-origin small-batch bean-to-bar chocolate using Criollo (Creole) cacao from the highest intertropical coastal peak of the planet which is rich in biodiversity and culture. Due to its geographical position, the Sierra Nevada is a unique place highlighted in its' gratitude to Mother Earth for crops such as cocoa from several original tribes - Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas and Kankuamos - that consider the place to be sacred.SHOP HERE
Sierra Sagrada - Sierra Nevada 64% - Micro-batch Plain/Origin Dark Chocolate Bar - Silver
Sierra Sagrada's process begins with visiting cocoa farms and collection centres where the beans are processed. Once batches are verified under strict quality standards, direct purchase without any intermediaries is made from Arhuaco indigenous paying a fair price, generally above the competitive price offered by other buyers. The cocoa was obtained in a form of dried beans that were processed in accordance with the highest standards of chocolate-making. Later it is processed manually into pure dark chocolate bars with 64% cocoa content.SHOP HERE