While we were at the Winter Village in NYC (read our review here), we stopped at Raaka Chocolate to try some of their samples. Lydia knew about the company and immediately recognized them when she saw their stand. They’re an artesanal shop, 100% vegan, with a dedicated facility so there’s no cross-contamination.
Aren’t we glad we did. Their stuff is amazing. They had a number of samples available, so we tried a few different flavors, but what really knocked our socks off were the samples from their “First Nibs” chocolate subscription bars.
So, first let me talk about their regular chocolate bars. They’re all delicious, but I particularly liked the Maple & Nibs and the Bourbon Cask Aged. They’re both dark chocolates — 75% and 82% cacao respectively — but that’s the type I prefer. Strong, smooth flavors, especially the Bourbon Cask Aged bar, but without the bitterness that a lot of the dark chocolates you buy at stores tend to have. They have a number of lighter chocolates but we only tried the coconut milk, which is very nice. It’s creamier, sweeter, with just a slight coconut milk flavor.
Then we tried the First Nibs samples, and they rocked our world. I like chocolate as well as the next person, but I don’t usually get too excited by it. The sample I tried was so good, I just had to sign up for their monthly subscription immediately so I could get my hands on those bars—they only make those for the subscribers.
Each month, they have a theme and they send out two especially made bars, plus one of their regular bars. They start shipping them out on the 15th of the month or when you subscribe, up to the last day of the month. So if you subscribe on November 30th, for example, you still get November’s selections sent immediately to you. If you subscribe on December 1st, you’ll get December’s selection shipped on the 15th. We received our first package, the November batch, this past weekend.
November is “smokey” flavors. We got the Smoked Coconut & Maple (58%) and the Smoked Cocoa Butter (70%) bars, plus one Coconut Milk (60%) bar. Both special flavors are fantastic. The Smoked Cocoa Butter is just chocolate and a very bold smoke flavor, and I think it might be my favorite chocolate ever. The Smoked Coconut & Maple has a nice balanced flavor, with the maple subduing the smoke flavor and adding some sweetness. Both are winners in my opinion. Hopefully they’ll bring them back at some point.
This is some serious chocolate. It’s quality stuff, definitely to be savored, not just snacked on, and not for people who can’t handle bold and creative flavors. Ryan, Raaka Chocolate’s founder, told me that the themes for the upcoming months are “boozy” for December and “textures” for January. I can’t recommend it enough. A subscription would make a great gift for a chocolate lover.
It took me a little while to write this review, but I’d suggest trying to get your subscription in before the end of November if you think this is something you’d like, because those smoked chocolates are not to be missed.