Crazy deliciousness for every character

Human beings have been consuming chocolate in one form or another for over 4000 years. Although its essential components—cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar—haven’t changed much in the last couple millenia, chocolate today is dizzyingly diverse. Here are but 10 varieties, one for each archetype, of the numberless millions of cocoa concotions out there today.

Bearded brothers Rick and Michael Mast are truly ur-hipsters. They stock this artisanal chocolate shop in Williamsburg with beans shipped by sailboat. (Yes, it’s a vintage sailboat, obviously.) True to form, they also hand-print each chocolate bar wrapper on a reclaimed printing press, with designs inspired by archival blueprints and local artists.

$40 and up from mastbrothers.com

It’s uncertain whether raw cacao is intrinsically healthier than minimally processed chocolate, but the scientific consensus is that cocoa in just about any form is great for you. Chock full of mood-stimulating phenethylamines and reparative antioxidants, this bar from Fine & Raw also gets a nutritive boost from mineral-rich mesquite pods. 

$9 at fineandraw.com

Anthony Bourdain, culinary Rebel nonpareil, teamed up with Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert and chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create this 72 percent cacao bar made from small-batch Peruvian pure nacional beans. The Good & Evil Bar is so good, claims Bourdain, that it “will ruin chocolate as you know it…We’re ruining relationships, causing dependency among the populace, raisings expectations, and destroying the chocolate experience.”

$18 from eclatchocolate.com

This bar rides the smoke-everything trend that has taken hold of the culinary world in the last few years, and pairs it with the flavors of Rogue’s Chocolate Stout and burnt caramel. If you could distill the experience of sharing beers and s’mores over a campfire, this would be it.

$8 from vosgeschocolate.com

One of these days absinthe will lose its luster as gatekeeper of the doors of perception. All those poetes maudits were just pickling their brains in good ’ol-fashioned alcohol. But these booze-infused ganaches—available with mezcal, moonshine, or a bit of the Green Fairy—may have you penning your own Drunken Boat soon enough.

$8 and up from nunuchocolates.com

Cacao has always been a cash crop—beans were even used as currency in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Knipschildt sticks to luxury with its La Madeline au Truffe, a single chocolate truffle made with 70 percent cocoa ganache and enrobed in even more Valrhona dark chocolate. In the center is a whole Périgord black truffle, in case rich chocolate isn’t decadent enough.

$250 from knipschildt.net

The Aztecs called their ritual chocolate drink xocolatl, or “bitter water,” which they believed was brought to them by the chief god Quetzalcoatl as a gift from heaven. (Even today, cocoa’s scientific name, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods.”) Xocolatl’s hot cocoa is a traditonal Mexican preparation, though without the chilis that Aztecs often added.

$9 and up from casadexocolatl.com

San Francisco chocolatier Cocoa Absolute knows presentation is nearly as important as the product itself. Stamped with an argyle crosshatch, this handsome box of Ecuadorian 70 percent cocoa pavés includes a single wafer enrobed in 24-karat gold leaf. A golden ticket for the Gentleman.

$12 and up from cocoaabsolute.com

Roughly 40 percent of the world’s cocoa now comes form the Ivory Coast, where child slave laborers harvest crops that fuel and fund local strife. But Madécasse, staffed by Peace Corps volunteers, utilizes fair-trade chocolate harvested at forest-farm collectives in Madagascar. Minimally processed, this bar is strong and rich.

$6 at madecasse.com

Any pastry chef with a modicum of skill knows that the behavior of chocolate—how it crystalizes, its temperament at different temperatures—is an exact science. Cocoa-solid percentages are key to understanding it. Chocolate Editions’ Pie Chart contains three types of chocolate with varying cocoa content; each of those percentages is represented as a part of the whole chart.

$20 at chocolate-editions.com