Dark chocolate is an endorphin-tickling mood enhancer. Unlike its milky cousin, it is derived from the highest concentration of cacao, meaning it’s higher in antioxidants like iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Comparing an equal-size piece of the two, dark chocolate has fewer calories, fat, and sugar, and more protein and potassium. It’s the quicker picker-upper to happy — and relatively healthy chocolate. The following are some of the top county shops for dark chocolate treats.
In a petit, gray cottage, European-trained chocolatier Maarten Steenman and wife Fran offer handmade individual French chocolates made with premium ingredients. International beans are used to create regional flavor notes. La Tulipe doesn’t make solids, but the ganaches are heavenly: dark chocolate apricot (smooth with an appealing apricot finish), mango/passion fruit, and dark chocolate with crystallized Australian ginger.
This all-things-chocolate emporium sources bars, barks, and truffles from acclaimed chocolatiers from numerous countries in both Europe and Africa. Among the dark offerings are dark-chocolate-covered cashews and almonds, double-dip dark chocolate pretzels, and dark rum Aztec spicy truffles. Vegan, sugar-free, and kosher options are also offered.
ThePod is chocolate with a conscience, as founder Joy Batashoff Thaler only stocks direct-trade chocolate (i.e., sellers who buy directly from the farmer or a close representative). Try the earthy, made-to-order, Costa Rican super-spice sipping chocolate, the dark-chocolate-dipped marshmallows sweetened with honey and maple syrup, or a Tanzanian dark chocolate bar with hyperlocal sea salt.
This 10,000-square-foot café/local-organic market/bean-to-bar chocolate factory offers more than 200 items, among them house-roasted coffee, house-made preserves, and waffle and pancake mixes (using freshly milled heritage grain flour). The handsomely packed individual bars make for fitting V-Day gifts, or splurge on the artsy 10-pack with The Met-designed labels. The potent, dark-chocolate-lavender Daytripper is unique, as is the Dinnertime olive oil bar. All are organic and free trade. (No loose chocolates available.)
Related: 9 Spots to Sip Indulgent Hot Chocolate in Westchester County