Chocolate has been many things since its inception: a hard-earned reward in a ration book, a comforting indulgence, an aphrodisiac. It comes in all forms, from bite-sized treats to extravagant hand-crafted artworks created by luxury chocolate brands. For the most discerning chocolate lovers willing to travel for a taste of excellence, it’s fair to say the world is your oyster – or your truffle.
Here is our pick of the most expensive chocolate from around the world; indulging in any one of these would be the epitome of luxury.
In this indulgent creation, Italian chocolate maker Amedei has married dark chocolate truffles with Armand de Brignac champagne, sprinkled them with real gold and packaged them in a Swarovski crystal box. This rare and precious treat sells at the exclusive Knightsbridge department store Harrods for over £200 a box.
Almost infamous for its luxury confections, the House of Knipschildt was founded in 1999 by Danish chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. Its most expensive chocolate blends Valrhona dark chocolate with rich truffle oil and cream, which is then hand-rolled around a core of French black truffle. This is a chocolate most people could only dream of trying: the exquisite delicacy is sold for $250 apiece, or around $2,600 per pound.
Ecuadorian company To’ak’s celebrated Art Series Blend began as a conservation project and resulted in one of the most singular and special chocolates in the world. This carefully crafted product is created entirely by hand from premium single-origin dark beans, reputedly from the oldest and rarest cacao on Earth. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted, de-shelled and ground by hand; as a result, it has taken To’ak two years to make just 574 bars. Should you choose to indulge, your chocolate will come in a handmade wooden box, filled with cacao bean husks and bearing an individual harvest number marking its exclusivity. Over the last year, the retail value of this specialist chocolate has almost doubled, from $385 to an incredible $695.
Guiding the creativity of luxury chocolate brands’ expert chocolatiers are the industry trends. Of these, quality ‘dark milk’ – 2018’s obsession – is definitely here to stay. Countries of origin are becoming increasingly important too, with India being one of the fastest growing chocolate producers in the world. The health benefits of the darkest premium chocolate are also tempting consumers – experts look to Japan as a growing market for this ‘clean’ chocolate, but the global trend for healthier treats means the fitness-focused West seems likely to follow.
The industry’s use of artful branding and willingness to push the boundaries means giving a luxurious gift of chocolate is far from generic. Which of these would you most like to give or receive?