Love chocolate? Us, too. That's why we're teaming up with Megan Giller, author of the blog Chocolate Noise, to bring you monthly dispatches about the best chocolates and chocolate makers in the world.
If the only type of chocolate you eat during the summer is chocolate ice cream, then Red Thalhammer, the Austrian-accented owner of Antidote Chocolate, has news for you: "Chocolate is a great summer food," she says, popping a piece into her mouth. "It gives you energy while keeping you light on your feet."
If you think of chocolate as a sixth food group (like I do), there's no need for you to go without it for three full months. With that in mind, I've rounded up six bars that pair particularly well with hot weather:
① Antidote's own coffee-cardamom flavor ($7) certainly keeps you light on your feet, offering a delicious lift in each tiny square. Thalhammer works with one of the best farms in Ecuador to source high-quality cacao, and she uses 50 percent raw cacao and 50 percent roasted cacao to maintain the chocolate's health benefits while still delivering solid flavor.
② Can't get enough of that summer produce? TCHO takes advantage of the warm-weather fruit season with its strawberry rhubarb pie milk chocolate ($7).
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③ Taza Chocolate's coconut bar ($5) will carry you away to a dreamy island vacation. Taza stone-grinds its chocolate in the tradition of the Aztecs and Mayans, which gives it a slightly grittier, addictive texture (read more about the Aztecs' crazy uses of chocolate—including ritual sacrifice—here).
④ Xocolatl de Davíd, a small artisanal company based in Portland, makes a bright, light orangette bar ($9) with candied orange, fleur de sel and 74 percent chocolate from the Dominican Republic.
⑤ Madre Chocolate, from Hawaii, makes a horchata bar ($6.50) that captures the summer drink in all of its glory, with rice milk, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla in 57 percent chocolate.
⑥ And where would we be without something spicy to sweat out all the toxins? For a good time, call Askinosie Chocolate's dark milk with ancho chile and pistachio ($9).
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