The month of February is the best reason to indulge in chocolates and treat your loved ones with sweets -- so why not go local and support homegrown artisanal brands?
Here are eight Filipino chocolatiers that serve their different takes on chocolate to sweeten up your Valentines Day (or whenever that chocolate craving strikes):
1. Auro Chocolate
aurochocolate.com | IG: @aurochocolate | FB: /aurochocolate
This bean-to-bar brand uses sustainably-sourced cocoa beans from Davao and come in elegant packaging -- as regal as gold (where it gets its brand name -- 'AU' and 'Oro') and embellished with a classic design. Auro works closely with local farmers and aims to uplift their business, at the same time make Filipino chocolate known internationally.
Try: Fine Chocolate Bars (50g/90g) in 42% Milk Chocolate, 55% Dark Chocolate, 64% Dark Chocolate, and 77% Dark Chocolate
2. Chocoliz by Saret Organic Farmville and Kaanib ng Kalikasan
saretorganicfarmville.com | IG: @chocolizph | FB: /chocolizph | Order online via www.foodsource.ph; available at Kultura Filipino stores
Cacao bars by Chocoliz are made with organic cacao grown in Luzon and wenth through minimal processing, retaining the cacao's natural nutrients that give you natural health benefits. Cacao isn't synonymous to chocolate as it is purest form of chocolate -- less processing, and less ingredients are involved.
Try: Cacao bars in assorted cacao content (Chocoliz 60%, Chocoliz 70%, Chocoliz 80%, and Chocoliz Premium 100%)
3. Coco Dolcé by The Freefood Co.
freefoodco.com | IG: @thefreefoodco | FB: /cocodolcechocolates | Order online via www.thegoodstore.ph
Coco Dolcé's gourmet milk chocolate is a creamy blend of cacao beans, low-glycemic organic coconut sugar, and virgin coconut oil, and all ingredients used are community-traded from Mindanao. The bean to bar brand uses a traditional conche method, which entails long periods of stirring the chocolate.
Try: Coco Dolcé Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Pili, Milk Chocolate with Rice Crisps, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Chili
hirayachocolates.com | IG: @hirayachocolates | FB: /HirayaChocolates | Order online via www.foodsource.ph, shopee.ph, and marketa.ph
This local bean-to-bar chocolate company advocates sustainable practices and sources their cacao from Davao and Bicol, and also carry interesting flavor combinations with their chocolate.
Try: 72% Dark Chocolate (Single Origin Davao and Single Origin Bicol), Coffee Nibs (Dark Chocolate with Coffee Nibs), Coconut (Chocolate with Coconut Milk and Roasted Coconuts), Chicharon (Spicy Dark Chocolate with Crunchy Pork Rinds), Queso de Bola (Dark Chocolate with Edam Cheese Chunks)
5. Risa Chocolates
risa.ph | IG: @risachocolates | FB: /risachocolate | Order online via marketa.ph
This Filipino chocolatier offers a wide range of local handcrafted chocolates - from bars to barks, pralines to truffles, and seasonal, limited-time offerings that play on different flavors and ingredients of the Philippines - products that remain delicious and at the same time support small-scale farmers of the country.
Try: Chocolate Bars (70% South Cotabato, 60% South Cotabato with Coco Sugar, Brown Butter Milk Chocolate, Bacon Chili Chocolate, Pastillas de Pili, Chole, Coffee), Salted Caramel Pralines, Truffles (Classic, Orange, Dark Rum, Cerveza Negra)
6. Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates
theoandphilo.com| IG: @theoandphilo | FB: /theoandphilo | Order online via marketa.ph
This bean-to-bar Philippine chocolate maker uses cacao bean with only all natural ingredients with pure cocoa butter, sourcing beans straight from the farmers. These gourmet chocolate bars make wonderful dessert introductions to some of the most loved Filipino flavors and ingredients -- bite into a bar that combines favorites like barako coffee, turon, green mango and salt, and even adobo!
Try: Chocolate bars in Single Origin 70% Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Labuyo, Barako Coffee, Green Mango & Salt, Pili & Pinipig, Calamansi, Adobo, Turon, Ginger Mint, Black Sesame & Nuts, Chocolate Covered Mangoes
7. True Chocolate
truechocolateph.com| IG: @truechocolateph | FB: /truechocolateph
What was once a delicious hobby of a chocoholic turned into a passion project that not only close friends and family get to enjoy. True Chocolate is now offering small-batch handcrafted chocolate products using high quality Belgian and local chocolates. Truffles, chocolate bars, and bonbons are on the current menu, while more products like sugarfree chocolates are in the works.
Try: Classic Dark Truffles and Nutty Dark Truffles using Belgian dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate Bars, Dark Chocolate Bar, and Belgian Dark Chocolate Bonbons
xocolat.com.ph | IG: @luvxocolat | FB: /luvXOCOLAT
Who didn't grow up with comforting, delicious cups of hot chocolate? Xocolate will let chocolate lovers sip their luscious chocolate creations at their cafe and by ordering their cacao in tin cans to bring home and gift to loved ones. Whether it's to warm up and get cozy with your sweetheart or to reminisce the holiday season, Xocolat offers their version of the ulitmate hot chocolate.
Try: Cacao in Old Fashioned (Classic Milk Chocolate) Dark (Bittersweet), Wicked (Spiced Dark Cacao), Rush (Mocha), and Organic; Hot Xocolates and Skinny Xocolat (Sugar Free) hot chocolate drinks are also available at Café Xocolat by the cup (a la carte).
Homestream image from Instagram accounts of Theo & Philo (@theoandphilo), Chocoliz (@chocolizph), and Risa Chocolates (@risachocolates).