The International Chocolate Awards jury announced the winners of the Americas & Asia Pacific competition. The goal is to find the best chocolate bars (and a few other chocolate products). In the week of May 14th through 19th, the grand jury evaluated hundreds of chocolates. Today they finally revealed the results. The grand jury is made up of chocolate experts, pastry chefs, food journalists, and sommeliers. This jury travels around the world trying to find the ultimate chocolate, and they take this job seriously. The chocolate bars are judged anonymously on technical factors, ingredients, and of course taste. Winners are picked for categories ranging from dark and milk bars to truffles and caramels; even chocolate spreads are rated.
The overall best milk chocolate bar is the Cacao Hunters Tumaco Leche 53%. Tacoma Leche is a product that's nowhere to be found on the Cacao Hunters website, but their Facebook page confirms it does exist. Cacao Hunters also got gold for their Sierra Nevada 64% dark but couldn't take the double victory. In the dark category, the best chocolate bar is the SOMA Porcelana 70%. SOMA has a couple of retail locations in Toronto, Canada, but this winning dark chocolate is also available for purchase online.
Look for the full list of the winning chocolate bars and other products on the International Chocolate Awards website. We do feel a warning is appropriate: Sadness will set in when you realize most of these winners aren't available in your area. We suggest you read our article on the best dark chocolate you can buy at the supermarket.
If you know a place where you can buy any of these online, let us know in the comments.