Today is Winter Solstice, which means that we’ll see less sunlight today than any other day of the year. Before you grumble about spending all your daylight hours indoors at work, why not celebrate the flip side? In the world of chocolate, dark is a delicious thing. Not only does it have serious health benefits, its high percentage (more on that here) gives it a fuller, more intense flavor. Indulge in one of these top dark chocolate bars and savor the benefits of darkness.
Sweet and salty: Manoa 72% Hawaiian Sea Salt
This Hawaiian-made bar combines luscious dark chocolate with not one, but three types of exquisite sea salt. Taste locally sourced Pink Sea Salt from Molokai, Black Lava Sea Salt from the Big Island and Local Oahu Sea Salts. It’s so good, you won’t even notice the sun setting in the afternoon.
Unique and international: Marou 76% Ba Ria
Not many chocolate companies hail from Vietnam, but Marou is putting it on the map. With beautiful, gold-tinted packaging, the bar alone is a work of art, but it’s worth checking out what’s inside. This single-origin chocolate boasts fruity flavors and a truly distinctive palette. It’s as one-of-a-kind as the solstice itself.
Fruity and unexpected: Antidote 73% Mango + Juniper
Antidote is proud to make “serious chocolate,” but this fruity and fresh combination truly plays with your tastebuds. Dried mango pieces provide chewy texture and sweet flavor, while pairing with crushed juniper berries adds a unique zest. The same berries that give gin its pine aroma and refreshing taste give an impactful angle to the chocolate that you need to try.
Crunchy and nutty: Chocolat Moderne 70% NYC Street Nuts
Street carts sell hot nuts on every corner in New York, especially during the chilly days of winter. Chocolat Moderne managed to reinvent that concept in an incredible way with its dark chocolate bar. Caramelized almonds, cashews, and peanuts make for a gorgeous look and a delectable taste. This one goes well with everything, from coffee to tea—even a long night.
Dark and complex: Pitch Dark 73% Pinot Noir Salt + Chocolate
With a name like Pitch Dark, this bar is almost made for the Winter Solstice. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, this company reached out to local sources to amp up its fine chocolate. Salt from Jacobsen Salt Co and Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley swirl together for a sophisticated and multi-layered bite.
Photo by Jackie Donnelly via Spice & Ink