While the average person is quite happy nibbling away at one of the mass produced chocolates he can get his hands on, the chocolate connoisseur is not to be appeased with such fake trifles. For him it is gourmet chocolate or nothing at all; in the same way that one wouldn’t take a cheap knockoff over vintage Bordeaux. As chocolate-maker Richard Donnelly puts it, “life is too short to eat cheap chocolate.”
It seems the fever is fast catching on and people don’t mind paying extra for the luxury of sampling the exquisite taste of fine chocolates. In fact, the market for premium chocolates has recorded an annual growth of around 20% since the beginning of the 21st century and it’s only predicted to go up in the coming years.
Here are some of the finest and most exorbitantly priced chocolates in the world – for those occasions which demand something other than the usual or for those days when you don’t mind condoning the occasional self-indulgence…
Chocopologie by Knipschildt ($2,600 per pound)
Fritz Knipschildt’s love for chocolates led him to open Knipschildt Chocolatier at the turn of the 21st century. The most expensive chocolate available here is made from 70% Valrhona cacao and sells for $250 apiece. The cacao is blended into ganache with truffle oil and then hand rolled with a piece of French black truffle inside. These luxurious bites are available only on a pre-order basis.
Noka Vintages Collection ($854 per pound)
Located in Dallas, Texas, all Noka chocolates use only the finest dark chocolate from plantations in Cote d’Ivoire, Trinidad, Ecuador, and Venezuela along with sugar and cacao butter. The Vintages collection – their most premium product – is made from 75% pure single-origin cacao. Noka uses neither emulsifier nor vanilla in the chocolate-making process.
DeLafee’s Luxury Chocolates ($508 per pound)
Not only are DeLafee chocolates one of a kind, they also contain edible 24k gold flakes that are applied to each praline by hand. In addition to fine cocoa beans the chocolates include coconut oil, sugar, milk powder, vanilla, and cocoa butter.
Richart ($120 per pound)
Made in Lyons, France, Richart chocolates are made using the best cocoa in the world – Criollo – that comes from Venezuela. The chocolates have a mild yet full flavor and contain other ingredients like exotic spices, almonds, and raspberries.
Pierre Marcolini ($102.50 per pound)
Pierre Marcolini is a Belgium based chocolatier that makes use of only the finest cacao beans one can procure in this industry. Each premium truffle contains a different set of ingredients. For instance, the Truffle Bresilienne has a ganache center made from a blend of beans from Venezuela and Ghana, known as Caraibe, along with a Gianduja almond praline and caramelized almonds.
Debauve & Gallais ($94 per pound)
Paris based Debauve & Gallais specialize in making chocolates that are high in premium cocoa and low in sugar. They don’t add any emulsifiers, additives or dyes into their chocolate but do throw in a host of other ingredients, such as hazelnuts from Piedmont, nuts from Perigord, raisins from Turkey, almonds from Spain, chestnuts from Turin and rum from Antilles.