A lot of gourmet chocolate bars try too hard, pushing the confectionery envelope with their “unique flavor combinations” to the point that they’re simply stunts. They just don’t taste good. Not so with every bar we tried from jcoco. We were skeptical of some combos at first (agave quinoa sesame in milk chocolate, cayenne Veracruz orange in white chocolate, edamame sea salt in milk chocolate), but these bars are absolutely, hands-down, insanely delicious. All of them! The flavors are unique, that’s for sure, but they WORK because the folks at jcoco have mastered taste and texture: There’s a nice hit of salt in several of the bars, which helps to bridge what might otherwise come across as flavor chasms, and ingredients that would ruin the chocolate if soggy—quinoa, edamame, coconut flakes—provide big-time crunchity-crunch. (We were particularly blown away by the coconut pecan bars and the agave quinoa sesame. You simply must try these!)
The ones we sampled come in brightly colored sleeves that each house 3 (1-ounce) bars (these go for about $8), but you can also purchase single 1-ounce bars for $2.50; they’re sold in some Whole Foods stores, Barneys of New York, other gourmet retailers, or online at jcocococolate.com. I can’t wait to get some of these to tuck into stockings (…and I might just have to get some more for myself). These are stocking stuffers to feel good about, too: For every bar purchased, a serving of fresh food goes to an American in need.