When it comes to treating ourselves, so many of us enjoy the rich taste of chocolate.
Dark chocolate has a unique flavor and a slight bitter taste, which many people enjoy at the end of a long day.
Thanks to the higher cocoa content on average, dark chocolate has a deep flavor that pairs well with a range of other flavorings.
These include sea salt, caramel, citrus, and nuts. Being able to enjoy a tasty snack is important, which is why there are so many options out there.
Consider the following options when choosing the best dark chocolate for you.
Best Dark Chocolate
OUR TOP PICK
Firstly, Endangered Species offers an ethical selection of dark chocolate in many flavors.
The brand aims to protect wild animals such as panthers by preserving their natural habitats around the world.
10% of Endangered Species’ profits are sent to impactful organizations that can make efforts to prevent extinction.
Not only is Endangered Species a brand that aims to make a difference, but the range of dark chocolate products are incredibly tasty.
There is a rich and indulgent experience which comes from the fair-trade, high quality ingredients used.
The different flavors that complement anything from 88% to 55% cocoa include almonds, mint, cranberries, peanuts, cherries, and blueberries.
- Ethical brand that promotes conservation
- Range of flavors
- Fair-trade chocolate that has a high percentage of cocoa content
- Smooth texture and even better taste
- Each range of chocolate bar has a different species that they protect
- For some, the high cocoa content can be a little shocking if they are not used to it.
- It is recommended that these individuals choose a product with a slightly lower percentage at first in order to get their palette used to the different flavors.
Another high quality dark chocolate comes from Hu, which is a brand that uses organic ingredients and offers a range of vegan-friendly products.
The dark chocolate has around 70% cocoa, and sticks to a simple selection of ingredients in order to create something as close to natural as possible.
Despite using fewer ingredients, this dark chocolate has a highly complex flavor.
This is achieved with the addition of sea salt, as well as the unique range of flavorings. These include almond butter, vanilla, raspberry jelly, coffee and citrus.
- Hu is one of the few brands of dark chocolate that is Paleo-approved
- This brand is completely transparent about their quality and range of ingredients used
- Vegan and gluten-free
- There are a selection of tasty flavors to choose from
- Not suitable for severe allergy sufferers.
- Although these products are gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, they are made in a factory that handles milk and other allergens.
- Those that suffer from severe allergies should be particularly careful when it comes to this chocolate.
This dark chocolate is another ideal choice because it is vegan.
It has been sweetened with botanical extracts in order to create a unique taste that cuts through the bitterness without compromising the deep chocolate taste.
In terms of the bitter cocoa taste, this dark chocolate usually has around 70% cocoa content.
Some of the flavors include sea salt, blood orange, and extra dark for those that prefer the rich taste of very dark chocolate.
- Non-GMO ingredients are used exclusively
- Any bar containing 70% or more cocoa solids is vegan
- Easy to purchase in bulk
- In comparison to similar types of dark chocolate, there are a limited number of flavors to choose from.
This is a great option for snacking, because these chocolates come in large packs containing individually wrapped portions.
With 72% cocoa solids, the taste is rich and smooth with the Bouchard Belgian Dark Chocolate snacks.
They are also lower in sugar than similar snacks, which makes them an ideal choice for someone who wants to enjoy a lower carb diet.
Consider Bouchard Belgian Dark Chocolate for a tasty snack that you can pack into your bag to enjoy wherever you are.
- A great source of antioxidants
- Comes in small snack sizes that are great for on the go
- Melting chocolate can happen on warm days, which means this tasty snack will need to be kept cool.
For a high-end experience, Divine Exquisitely Rich Dark Chocolate has everything you need.
With 85% cocoa solids, this has the highest intensity out of all the products.
However, there isn’t a bitter taste. Instead, there is a silky texture and a deep flavor overall.
This is due to the high quality of ingredients that are used to create a delicious dark chocolate.
Not only that, but this chocolate contains no palm oil, soy, or artificial flavorings.
- There is a unique, creamy taste in spite of the high cocoa content
- No artificial flavorings, soy, or palm oil
- At 85%, this is ideal for people who love dark chocolate
- May contain nuts and milk, so this is a less suitable choice for allergy sufferers.
Best Dark Chocolate Buying Guide
When it comes to finding the right dark chocolate for you, there are so many options on the market.
This can make it difficult to figure out your preferences in the long run. Consider the following items in order to filter your search for the best dark chocolate for you.
Some people prefer being able to take a pre-packed portion with them, while others enjoy the snapping sound that comes with breaking off a piece from a larger dark chocolate bar.
Consider the portion sizes of each type of dark chocolate when you are looking for the right one for you.
The average portion size of dark chocolate can change with the different brands of chocolate.
This can also impact the value for money that each bar of chocolate is.
If that is something that is important to you, then it is worth calculating the cost per portion before purchasing.
Another important factor that can influence someone’s decision on the best dark chocolate for them is whether a particular brand is supporting a good cause.
This means sending a portion of their profits to charities that help with conservation, protecting the world’s natural resources, or helping refugees.
Consider the types of causes that you are passionate about, and use this to determine the kind of dark chocolate manufacturers you want to choose.
Whether you want some of the price to support individuals in need, or if you are interested in supporting local charity work, this can be done by finding the right dark chocolate.
Consider your personal values and the type of principles you want to support.
Percentage Cocoa Solids
In terms of the taste of the chocolate, it is worth looking at the percentage of cocoa solids that a brand provides.
This can be found on the product packaging, and the dark, rich taste usually comes from a larger percentage of cocoa solids.
Dark chocolate that is high in quality is likely to have between 70 and 85 percent cocoa solids.
This will create a slight bitter taste, which some people do not enjoy.
However, manufacturers have achieved a delicate balance between sweetness and the bitter, rich taste of dark chocolate.
A higher percentage of cocoa solids typically means that the dark chocolate is higher in quality, when compared to other popular manufacturers of chocolate.
Consider the type of overall taste you want to achieve in addition to the cocoa solid percentage.
There is little point purchasing dark chocolate that you are not going to enjoy.
For some, nutritional value is an influential factor when it comes to finding a delicious snack.
Some dark chocolate has a higher amount of sweetener added, while others will include natural sources of protein.
As well as protein, some people prefer dark chocolate as a way of satisfying their cravings.
This is due to the higher amount of natural ingredients that are typically included.
Fiber, protein, and other nutrients are essential for many individuals who are looking to find a filling alternative to regular chocolate.
Consider the different types of chocolate that are available, and ensure that you are finding the right choice for your nutritional goals if this is important to you.
Supporting a balanced diet is essential for many people, and it is important to maintain your metabolism, energy levels, and overall cognitive function.
Range Of Flavors
Another thing to consider when choosing the right dark chocolate for you is the range of flavors.
There are many brands that have different flavor combinations which work well with the rich taste of dark chocolate.
The great thing about dark chocolate is that it works like a flavor enhancement.
This means that it can be used to bring out the overall flavor experience of different types of nuts, fruits, and more.
If you want to try a different kind of combination, it could be worth searching for a brand of dark chocolate that has a larger selection of flavors.
These include raspberry, blueberry, peanut butter, almonds, and caramel.
Consider the different combinations of flavors and textures, and decide how this can impact the overall experience of your dark chocolate.
Alternatively, you could find something that has a more subtle form of flavors. This can be through adding small amounts of chopped nuts or fruit.
Another way in which flavor is added is by layering the chocolate with certain ingredients.
This creates an interesting spread of flavor that is infused into every bite.
Consider the type of flavorings that you prefer, and use this to decide the perfect dark chocolate for yourself.
Many chocolate producers are less likely to have added flavorings and other ingredients that can impact the overall quality of the chocolate, when the percentage of cocoa solids is above 70%.
This means that these dark chocolates are likely to be free from artificial ingredients, dairy products, and more.
Suffering from a serious allergy can make it extremely challenging to find snacks that you enjoy and that satisfy your cravings.
This is because you will need to carefully examine the list of ingredients as well as the conditions in which the chocolate was packed within.
Even if your chosen dark chocolate has not been in direct contact with the ingredients that you are allergic to, it is important that you are taking the necessary precautions.
Ensure that this is considered when you are choosing the right dark chocolate for you.
If you are not sure after looking at the ingredients list for dark chocolate, it could be worth looking up the brand online to see how other people with similar allergies have reacted.
High Quality Ingredients
Another important factor that many people consider before purchasing dark chocolate is the quality of ingredients used.
This can determine the overall taste experience of the tasty treat.
Knowing that everything has been assembled under ethical conditions can allow someone to enjoy their dark chocolate with less guilt.
Because of this, it is worth looking into fair-trade certifications and symbols.
There are several that can be found on chocolate packaging, and it is important to protect workers, cocoa farms, and more.
Make sure you are choosing a suitable brand of dark chocolate that supports your personal values.
Ensure that you are not supporting an unsustainable organization in order to protect high quality dark chocolate in the future.
Some cocoa farms will continue to plant more seeds in order to maintain their crop and forms of livelihood.
It is important to consider the different factors that can contribute to an ethical farm and production process on the whole.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is 85% Chocolate Healthier?
In general, dark chocolate tends to have a higher nutritional value than other chocolates.
This is because of the higher percentage of cocoa solids present. In turn, this means that there are more nutrients coming from the cocoa bean itself.
Not only does dark chocolate have a higher amount of fiber, but it contains iron, magnesium, and copper.
These are all crucial when it comes to regulating the metabolism and other bodily functions.
In comparison to other chocolate that has a lower cocoa content, there are far more nutrients that can help maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle found in dark chocolate.
Is Cacao Healthier Than Cocoa?
A common ingredient in high quality chocolate is cacao. Unlike cocoa, cacao is the beans that have not been roasted.
This is known as the raw bean of the plant, which has had minimal processing.
In turn, cacao is considered to be a vegan alternative due to the reduced amount of additives that are introduced into it.
Cocoa is commonly known as the more processed cocoa bean. This is typically the powdered ingredient that is produced once they have been roasted.
When comparing the two, chocolate that has been made using cacao is the healthier option. This is because of the minimal processing that has occurred.
Because of this, cacao has a higher number of antioxidant properties compared to cocoa. Not only that, but cacao typically has more magnesium, fiber, and iron.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Dark Chocolate?
Eating too much dark chocolate can increase the levels of caffeine within the bloodstream.
This can lead to higher chances of developing heart conditions, caused by increased heart rate.
Not only that, but consuming too much dark chocolate can impact other levels within the body.
These include nausea and dehydration, and it is important to avoid eating too much dark chocolate because it has a surprising amount of caffeine inside.
Similarly, it is worth avoiding eating chocolate less than one hour before heading to bed.
This is due to the high caffeine content that can significantly limit your ability to fall asleep.
It is likely that you will feel more alert and even anxious while you are trying to rest your mind.
Because lighter chocolates tend to have more ingredients such as sugars and milk, these are less likely to impact your levels of alertness and sleep in general.
However, it is important to avoid eating one hour before your bedtime in order to promote a good night's sleep.
The sugars are likely to have a similar effect if too much of any chocolate is consumed.
It is generally recommended to avoid eating chocolate within one hour of heading to bed if possible.
Finding the best dark chocolate can be incredibly challenging. This is because there are so many factors which make them unique.
These include added flavorings such as various nuts and fruits, and anything that can alter the texture such as a layer of caramel sandwiching two sections of chocolate.
Because dark chocolate is known as a flavor enhancer, it can bring out the flavors for a range of items.
Consider the qualities that are important to you before purchasing the best dark chocolate.