Chocolate is one of life’s greatest gifts. It’s hard to describe how enjoyable that melt-in-your-mouth experience is when you really need it.
For most people, the word chocolate makes you think of the same brands and bars, depending on what your favourites are. Cadbury’s is often top of the list in Britain, though Milka and Hersheys have stronger reputations in Central Europe and the USA respectively. This brand recognition, as well as the fact that humans are creatures of habit, usually leads us to just keep on eating our chocolate favourites, rather than branch out to try new things.
Saying that, to truly get the most out of life you need to try new experiences, and that means more chocolate from different brands. To inspire you, here are five lesser-known chocolate brands that you can start with, including internationally renowned chocolatiers that you just won’t find in your corner shop.
Based in Germany and family-run by two sisters, the Niederegger brand is over 200 years old, during which time they have developed a reputation for exceptional chocolate products. In particular, Niederegger is well known for producing some of the best marzipan chocolates in the world, though their range isn’t limited to that. Alongside selling chocolates online, they also deliver cakes in their home nation of Germany and have multiple cafés dotted throughout the country. A great choice as an exclusive chocolate gift for a marzipan-loving family member or friend.
French brand Valrhona takes a rigorous approach to ensuring their chocolate is the best on the market. For over 15 years they have been annually assessing their entire chocolate creation system, being selective about their supplies, improving recipes and updating processes at every stage to guarantee they are always on top of their game. This dedication has allowed Valrhona chocolate to win countless awards for their products and working environment, producing high-quality, luxury chocolate that looks after the environment and makes for an unforgettable eating experience.
Nearly 150 years old, the Anthon Berg brand is Danish in origin and is another name associated with high-quality marzipan chocolates. In their home country, they are easily one of the most famous confectionary names and feature regularly in adverts. Their other speciality is liqueur chocolates – small bottle-shaped chocolate treats filled with alcohol for a unique experience (though, you would need to eat a lot to get drunk). These liqueur chocolates come with a host of different alcohol brands you’ll recognise from Havana Club to 43, alongside quirkier choices which you might not have heard of.
Now, it wouldn’t be a true list of luxury chocolate brands worth trying without Belgium making an appearance. Belgian chocolate is seen as some of the most luxurious in the world and Neuhaus are no different, having invented the first Belgian chocolate praline. With over a century and a half of history, they must have been doing something right for them to remain popular over all these years.
Finally, we return to Germany, this time for the Reber brand. Originally founded in Munich, the café and patisserie grew over time, exploding in popularity around the world upon the release of their Mozart-Kugel, a pistachio marzipan and nougat dark chocolate treat. One of the most unique aspects of the Reber brand is its packaging. Using classic designs and vibrant colours, these are hard to miss on the shelf and immediately feel luxurious when you seem them. Another great option as a gift for a loved one.
Hopefully, this list has inspired you to do a little online research and pick up some new chocolates to try. There’s no doubt that the world is full of unique and different chocolate flavours, it’s just about getting round to enjoying them all! Good luck and happy eating!