To’ak Chocolate

Most couture chocolates feature a little je ne sais quoi. Sprinkled with flakes of 24-karat gold, or stuffed with a French truffle, or crafted from rare, exquisitely sourced cacao, they will not be found in your typical box of heart-shaped chocolates. To’ak Chocolate’s 2014-harvest 50-gram bar is to die for.

Only 574 bars of this Fair Trade, USDA-organic, 81-percent dark chocolate were made from the 2014 harvest, and each comes packaged with a 116-page booklet in a Spanish elm box engraved with the bar number. It’s a love letter from To’ak co-founder Jerry Toth, a Chicago native who has a house in Ecuador. It was there that he got the idea for To’ak, the cacao culled from a 1,000-acre forest featuring trees that survived the 1916 “Witch’s Broom” disease, a fungi-causing deformity that makes the tree grow clusters of shoots by fungi that look like brooms.