Chocolate solves everything. It’s been scientifically proven. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But whether you’re in a bad mood, wanting to celebrate or just looking for something delicious to end a meal, chocolate truly hits the spot. PLUS actual scientific studies have found that chocolate even has health benefits.
I am a strong believer that if you’re going to eat chocolate, it better be good. Like real good. None of that fake tasting chocolate that has something weird like 80% wax (I’m not really sure if that’s true, but it could explain why mass produced chocolates taste less good). Enough of my rant about that. Fortunately for me, and everyone else in the NW, we’ve got plenty of amazing, locally made chocolates that are made with real ingredients and really fantastic.
Portland’s David Briggs, owner of Xocolatl de David, creates some of the best chocolates around. He is all about the wacky flavor combinations that bring sweet and savory together. And when I mean wacky, I mean wacky. Like the chocolate made with pig’s blood….
But one of my favorites is a little more conventional – the Raleigh Bar. It is an incredible 2 to 3 bite chocolate bar filled with pecans, homemade nougat and salted caramel, all covered in dark chocolate. Each bite is rich, decadent and wonderfully balanced by the fleur de sel added in. It is the Snickers bar I’ve always dreamed about.
If you want one more extreme and salty, go with the Raleigh Bar with Bacon.
Another one of my favorites is Lillie Belle Farms’ candy bar that is aptly named “The Most Awesome Chocolate Bar EVER!”
This bar is mild by comparison to the Raleigh Bar but not any less great. Its filling is a super smooth almond and hazelnut butter, almost like a homemade Nutella (and how can you go wrong with that?!). It is then mixed with thin layers of light feuillitine cookie wafers and fleur de sel salt, and coated in both milk and dark chocolate. I’ve got to say, they were right, it is pretty darn awesome.
Both of these amazing bars are sold at Cacao, the perfect place for any chocolate lover. With two locations in downtown Portland, you can find these delicious treats, plus fabulously rich drinking chocolate. It is a must-try for any chocoholic.
Now I really wish that I had some chocolate for myself…and Cacao has already closed for the day… argh!
Cacao West End
414 SW 13th Avenue & Stark
Hours: Mon-Wed 10am-8pm; Thurs-Sat 10am-10pm; Sun 11am-6pm
Cacao Heathman Hotel
712 SW Salmon Street & Broadway
Hours: Mon-Wed 9am-6pm; Thurs-Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 10am-6pm