Original Beans in Amsterdam
Since 2008, Original Beans has taken the ‘bean to bar’ idea full circle with their ‘bar to bean’ commitment to plant a seedling for every chocolate bar sold. Details of their 80 per cent organic Grand Cru Blend No. 1 dark chocolate are kept secret, but they claim to use some of the rarest cacaos from South America and Africa. And with only raw cane sugar added, the bars are also vegan.
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Bonnat in Lyon
There may be bars with frillier packaging and more envelope-pushing additions, but when it comes to pure, classic chocolate, Bonnat can lay claim to the crown. This family company began in 1884 and was beloved by Jackie Kennedy, who gave bars to White House guests during the holidays. The Juliana bars are made from specially grown Brazilian cocoa beans, fermented, then dried in the sun slowly over seven days. Back in France, the beans are refined and tempered over five days. It’s an intricate process but, as Stephane Bonnat says, ‘In the Alps, we have time.’