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Lenôtre Paris chocolates.

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"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Schulz.

"Chocolate and the King are my only passions." - Queen Marie-Thérèse, the wife of Louis XIV.

"Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me." - Audrey Hepburn.

CHOCOLATE is a processed, typically sweetened food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Although cacao has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mexico and Central America, the earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya, with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Mayans and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied before being molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have been created. Chocolate chip cookies have become very common, and very popular, in most parts of Europe and North America. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate.

Although cocoa originated in the Americas, today Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world's cocoa, with Côte d'Ivoire growing almost half of it.

A CHOCOLATIER is someone who makes confectionery from chocolate. Chocolatiers are distinct from chocolate makers, who create chocolate from cacao beans and other ingredients.

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  • Germany’s biggest chocolate festival 'chocolART' in Tübingen.
  • chocolART - since 2006. "Deutschlands größtes Schokoladenfestival in Tübingen." Germany’s biggest chocolate festival 'chocolART' in Tübingen.
  • CHOCOLATE Week - since 2005. "The UK's biggest Chocolate celebration."
  • EUROCHOCOLATE - since 1993. Annual chocolate festival that takes place in Perugia, Italy.
  • International Chocolate Day - an observance that occurs in the United States every year on September 13. The U.S. National Confectioners Association has stated that September 13 is the official date for the observance. Celebration of the day includes the consumption of chocolate. The day occurs on the birthday of Milton S. Hershey, an American confectioner, philanthropist, and founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company and the "company town" of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
  • SALON DU CHOCOLAT - since 1994. "The world's largest event dedicated to chocolate and cocoa."
  • World Chocolate Day - sometimes referred to as International Chocolate Day, is an observance that occurs globally every year on July 7. Celebration of the day includes the consumption of chocolate. It has been stated that 7 July 2016 marks 466 years since chocolate was introduced to Europe.
  • Chocolate Museums
    Chocolate News, Reviews & Resources
    Top 150 Best Chocolate Makers & Online Suppliers by Country:
  • DEMEL - since 1786. K. u. K. Hofzuckerbäcker. Online store.
  • CHOCOPOLOGIE DUBAI - the most exclusive chocolate lounge in the U.A.E. and home to the world’s most expensive truffle "La Madeline Au Truffle" (hand-whipped truffles, infused with an Ecuadorian single-estate dark chocolate ganache around a rare French Perigord mushroom), for 1,000 dirhams (US$272) each.
  • To'ak Chocolate Cognac cask, Aged for 18 months in a 50-year-old French oak: US$345.
  • To'ak Chocolate - Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate. The world's most expensive chocolate. "To'ak is transforming the way that the world experiences dark chocolate, elevating its making and tasting onto the level of vintage wine and aged whisky."
    England, U.K.
  • BENDICKS - "Wonderfully intense." Full range of finest mints and chocolates like Bendicks Bittermints, Mint Collection and Tube Bitters.
  • Chococo - "Proudly Handmade in Dorset."
  • DEMARQUETTE - "London's finest artisan Chocolatier."
  • FORTNUM & MASON - Piccadilly since 1707.
  • HOTEL CHOCOLAT - founded 1988. Chocolatier and cocoa grower, with 55 stores in the United Kingdom and 5 stores within the USA and the Middle East.
  • Paul A. Young - "Fine Chocolates."
  • THE RAW CHOCOLATE COMPANY - "Our raw chocolate is more than just mouth-wateringly delicious, it is also full of life: un-heated cacao alone contains over 300 nutritional compounds, it is a great source of anti-oxidants, essential minerals and even contains the natural 'love molecule' PEA."
  • Willie's Cacao - "The only small cacao grower and producer in the UK. Using 100-year-old machinery, Willie produces from bean to bar, authentic pure cacao and chocolate from the finest beans from around the world."
  • Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, Corso Umberto I, 159, 97015 Modica RG.
  • AMEDEI - "The Culture of Chocolate."
  • Antica Dolceria Bonajuto - since 1880. Corso Umberto I, 159, 97015 Modica RG. During their domination in Sicily, the Spaniards introduced the method of making chocolate that they had learned from the Aztecs. Still today, the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto makes chocolate with the same ancient technique and ingredients. Also online shop.
  • Armani/Dolci 16 Praline Box: €30.
  • Armani / Dolci - "The Armani/Dolci collection includes a broad range of delicious and unexpected flavours. All the products are made with the finest ingredients prepared according to ancient recipes from Piedmont’s chocolatier tradition, and are all presented in refined packaging that pays homage to the maison’s approach to design."
  • CaffÈ Giacosa - Roberto Cavalli - "Chocolate gifts, chocolet boxes, pralines. Confectionery Firenze." Via della Spada 10, Florence, Italy.
  • Cioccolat italiani
  • FERRERO ROCHER - and: Rafaello, Mon Chéri, Kinder Surprise, Nutella and Tic Tac.
  • Pasquale Marigliano
  • Peyrano
  • RIVOIRE - Piazza della Signoria angolo Via Vacchereccia, 4R, Florence.
  • Sant Ambroeus - since 1936. Corso Giacomo Matteotti, 7, Milan.
  • SANTA MARIA NOVELLA - since 1612. Florence.
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