You should know by now that, like Philippine coffee, our chocolate is truly world-class. We’ve been a chocolate-producing country ever since a Spanish galleon brought the cacao plant over from Mexico. These days, local cacao plantations are spread out in these places: Batangas, South Cotabato, Cebu, and Davao. The latter has recently been named the “Chocolate Capital of the Philippines.”
The quality of Philippine cacao is so amazing that many local artisans have taken its potential to create outstanding chocolate bars, as well as many other chocolate confections. Because it has grown to become widely available from a diverse catalog of chocolate purveyors over the years, we’re choosing just some of the most fascinating flavors, the ones that really put the taste of Philippine culture and put it in a delicious bar.
Take note: this list is a mere preview of the vast and still growing world of local gourmet chocolate, but to the uninitiated, this is the perfect place to start.
Theo + Philo Milk Chocolate Adobo
OG Filipino chocolatier Theo + Philo is well-known in the industry for his chocolate inventions (he is the pioneer of the beloved chocolate and dried mango combination, after all), but we have to give this one to the Milk Chocolate Adobo. What better way to promote local chocolate than with the country’s most popular dish? It’s a little on the kooky side, but its zippy, toffee-esque flavor is a winner. Literally. It won prizes at the International Chocolate Awards.
Cacao de Davao 70% Dark Chocolate Calamansi With Coconut Sugar
Situated right at the country’s chocolate stronghold, Cacao de Davao has some of the finest raw material at its fingertips. While it boasts classic flavors like Dark Chocolate Chili, Matcha, and Mango, we have to give it to this tarty rendition. Putting together seemingly simple ingredients to create a mind-blowingly complex medley of bitterness, sweetness, and just the right level of tanginess to tie everything together? That’s no easy feat.
Coscao Coconut Milk With Ampao
Here’s something your inner child will like. Chocolate and rice crispies are hardly a newfangled innovation, but Coscao uses ampao (alternatively spelled ampaw), which is the Filipino version of puffed rice, made by drying and frying cooked white rice then coating it with syrup. This isn’t for the sophisticated chocolate lover who measures the quality of a bar based on numbers. For this flavor, Coscao only used 43% chocolate. It’s a bit on the sweet side; however, it’s perfect for those looking for that perfect childhood treat.