Chocolate goes global: chocolate from around the world

7 Sep 2023

Chocolate Knowledge

Let’s go on a journey around the globe, where a variety of chocolate delights await…

At Hotel Chocolat, we have always championed the belief that chocolate is not just a treat, but a journey to be experienced. The difference is, our journey starts at the heart of the humble cacao bean, nestled in the soils of distant lands, celebrating origin stories of regions far and wide. Chocolate is the main character of enchanting tales from around the world — and it’s our job to introduce these global chocolate flavours to your palate.

Chocolate from around the world - a Hotel Chocolat map showing different regions

The birthplace of cacao

Let’s begin our sweet expedition in the lush landscapes of Central and South America, where cacao first began its tale. Latin America is renowned for producing chocolates that are robust and deep in layered flavours and textures. The tasting notes of chocolate from Central and South America are reminiscent of its sun-kissed terrains — we like to think of it like a warm, flavourful embrace.

Let’s dive tastebud-first into the chocolate indulgences of Central and South America.

Chocolate tamales from Mexico

Now, it’s important to make it clear that these are no ordinary tamales. Picture corn dough mixed with rich cacao, steamed to pillowy perfection. Take a bite and you get the familiar, satisfying texture of a tamale, but with the delightful surprise of chocolate. It’s like a warm hug in food form.

Brigadeiro from Brazil

Brigadeiro is Brazil’s answer to the well-known chocolate truffle. They’re small chocolate balls, often rolled in sprinkles or coconut flakes. It’s a simple chocolate delicacy for some, but incredibly satisfying. As you taste one, the blend of chocolate and condensed milk creates a creamy, melty experience — and it embodies pure comfort.

For a taste of Brazil on your tastebuds, try out the Chocolate Coconut Truffles Selector — sun-kissed, creamy chocolate truffles rolled in dried coconut for a satisfying nibble.

And if you want to learn more about the origins of Brazil’s coconutty treat, take a look at our guide to brigadeiros.

Brazilian brigadeiros

Chocotorta from Argentina

Chocotorta is a type of no-bake chocolate cake, formulated with layers of chocolate cookies and creamy, indulgent dulce de leche. Each spoonful (big or small) gives you a mix of textures that’s both crunchy and smooth. It’s the sort of dessert that feels like a little explosion in your mouth, and one that truly cannot be missed.

If you’d like to make your own Chocotorta, why not indulge in our Chocolat Shortbreads for the filling? With Milk Chocolate, 70% Dark Chocolate and Nut & Nib shortbreads to choose from, you can make your Chocotorta a unique creation.

Mayan hot chocolate from Central America

Cast yourself back to 3,500 years ago, where the origins of chocolate began, where Mayans worshipped xocolatl — bitter water made with crushed cacao, cornmeal and chilli peppers.

To echo the origins of hot cacao, our Mayan version is a warm drink made from whole cacao beans, spiced up with a hint of chilli. The result is a frothy, mildly spiced chocolate drink that offers something a little different. It’s like hot chocolate with a slight kick – perfect for a bit of midday rejuvenation or an evening boost.

At Hotel Chocolat, we’re all about bringing you closer to the rich world of chocolate, and these treats from Central, South, and Latin America offer a delicious way to travel through taste and celebrate the origins of the cacao we know and love.

To transport yourself back in time, our 100% Dark Hot Chocolate Pouch from Honduras is perfect for revelling in the deep and fruity notes of drinking chocolate. If you have a sweeter taste, you can opt for our Milky 50% Hot Chocolate instead. Whichever you go for, pair it with the Velvetiser, our revolutionary at-home hot chocolate system, for ultimate indulgence.

Rich African delights

Let’s travel now to the east, where Africa awaits with its own tales. Chocolates made with African cacao, particularly cacao from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, beckon with a bold and rich texture. African cacao has a distinctive and inherent humble earthiness, and their chocolate delights definitely follow suit.

Ghanaian chocolate cake

There’s no denying that chocolate cake is the pillar of all chocolate treats across the globe. Ghanaian Chocolate Cake captures the essence of cacao in a way that’s deeply nourishing soul-satisfying. When you take the first bite, what hits you is the rich, velvety smoothness of chocolate, sourced directly from Ghanaian farms. It’s like receiving a warm, heartfelt hug in the form of a cake. It’s an experience you’ll want to savour.

To make your own Ghanaian Chocolate Cake, use our 85% Dark Chocolate Batons to create a mellowing, warm chocolate batter — made with Ghanaian cacao for its distinctive flavours.

At Hotel Chocolat, we don’t just sell chocolate; we offer you experiences steeped in authentic stories and unique tastes. From the cacao farms of Ghana to your taste buds, it’s a journey that celebrates the true spirit of Africa.

We’re honoured to be the bridge that connects you to these incredible chocolate experiences — so you can taste the story in each and every bite. At Hotel Chocolat, we understand the work and passion that goes on behind the scenes in the cacao industry.

Take a look at how we promote gentle farming practices in Ghana and learn more about our ethical approach to chocolate farming.

Decadent chocolate cake with frosting

Côte d’Ivoire cacao nibs

If you’re a hardcore chocolate lover then cacao nibs are the real deal. They are the essence of the cacao bean in its most natural state. Sourced from Côte d’Ivoire cacao nibs bring an earthy, almost wood-like flavour that’s beautifully bold and aromatic. Sprinkle them on top of your morning yoghurt or overnight oats, or snack on them directly from the bag.

As you chew, the cacao nibs release their pure, intense cacao flavour, taking you on a brief journey to the African landscapes where these beans came to be.

Elegant European treats

Sweep across the Mediterranean, and Europe calls to offer chocolates that are the epitome of luxury sophistication. Think of Belgian and Swiss chocolates: smooth, velvety, and truly sumptuous. European chocolate isn’t just chocolate; it’s an experience that whispers tales of age-old European elegance. We craft these chocolates with a passion that mirrors the charm of Europe’s cobble-stoned streets.

Belgian chocolate truffles

Belgian truffles are the epitome of elegance in the chocolate world. When you take a bite, you’re greeted by a crisp outer shell that succumbs to a luscious, creamy ganache filling. At Hotel Chocolat, we like to ensure that every truffle captures that perfect Belgian blend of sophistication and warmth.

Swiss chocolate fondue

If you’re looking to share a joyous experience, look no further than a Swiss Chocolate Fondue. Imagine dunking fruits, marshmallows, or even chunks of bread, into a pool of molten Swiss chocolate. The texture is silky smooth, and the taste is an elevated balance of cream and cacao.

It’s communal, it’s cosy, and it encapsulates a warm hygge feeling. Our Large Chocolate Dipping Adventure is everything you love about gathering around good food, and even better company.

Chocolate fondue with an array of fruit and snacks

European dark chocolate bars

Sometimes, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. European Dark Chocolate Bars are a tribute to the minimalist beauty of well-made chocolate. When you snap a piece, it breaks cleanly, hinting at its refined quality. And as it melts in your mouth, rich and earthy tones unfurl, offering a straightforward yet deeply satisfying chocolate experience.

Mediterranean chocolate and nut pairings

The Mediterranean love for wholesome foods has resulted in chunks of quality chocolate perfectly paired with almonds, hazelnuts, and even pistachios. Every bite introduces a delightful contrast: the chewy resistance of nuts against the soft surrender of chocolate. Nutty chocolate is a humble yet spirited offering, capturing the essence of sun, sea, and earth all in one precious bite.

From the artisan workshops of Belgium and Switzerland to the rich culinary traditions of the broader European and Mediterranean landscapes, we always aim to bring you flavours that turn any moment into an occasion.

Asian flavour meets fusion

As we begin to traverse the vastness of Asia, you’re in for a unique, eclectic treat. Here, chocolate meets local flavours in a bold symphony.

There are hints of spices, sometimes a touch of tropical fruits, or even the intriguing notes of tea. It’s a dance of flavours, where the robustness of chocolate seamlessly weaves into the elegance of local nuances. Asian chocolate is like a tapestry of flavours unfolding, with each and every thread of flavour narrating a different tale.

Japanese matcha chocolate

If you’ve never paired the earthy tones of matcha with rich chocolate, you’re in for a true treat. The flavour of matcha is like catching up with an old friend and meeting someone new — all at the same time. The chocolate is creamy, while the matcha adds a hint of herbal depth. It’s not just a flavour; it’s an experience.

Indian spiced chocolate

Spice in savoury dishes is something, but spice in sweet dishes is on a completely new level. Indian spiced chocolate will take you by the hand, and lead you through India’s famed spice markets. Take a look at the mounds of vibrant spices as you pass by with each and every nibble of Ginger Chocolate and Chilli Chocolate. The smoothness of chocolate married with hints of cardamom and cinnamon offers a symphony of flavours that’s as thrilling as it is comforting.

Thai coconut milk chocolate

Coconut milk chocolate melds the tropical creaminess of coconut milk with the full-bodied essence of cacao. This creates a texture of velvety smooth goodness with a coconut finish that transports you straight to the white-sand Thai beach. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime getaway, without ever leaving your comfort zone.

We’ve always been fans of the way coconut’s delicate sweetness contrasts with chocolate’s bittersweet profile. And while we haven’t explored Thailand’s take on the flavour combination, our Chocolate Coconut Truffles embrace the heart of the pairing. Take a bite and enjoy the soft smoothness of our milk chocolate ganache and the nibbly texture of the dried coconut coating.

Chinese red bean chocolate

At Hotel Chocolat, we believe that you should never underestimate the power of fusion. Chinese red bean chocolate might sound unusual to many of us in the UK. But why not try it? This treat combines the velvety richness of chocolate with the subtly sweet, textured experience of China’s famous red bean paste. 

Each bite feels like a celebration of both tradition and innovation, a harmonious blend that tells a story far beyond its ingredients. And, let’s be honest, chocolate tastes even better when it comes with a story, doesn’t it?

Why does chocolate taste different from different parts of the world?

The environment of the chocolate makes all the difference when it comes to taste, texture, and flavouring. The ‘terroir’ plays a pivotal role in the taste of each and every chocolate. This term refers to the environment where the cacao grows — the soil, climate, and even the love and care with which it is nurtured.

A cacao bean from the tropical terrains of Central America has a different story to tell than one from the vibrant landscapes of Africa. And these stories and nuances, make their way into the heart of every piece of chocolate we create.

Cacao pods

Embark on a cacao adventure with Hotel Chocolat

Chocolates are not just mere indulgences or ‘treats’ — they are stories, emotions, and memories, waiting to be experienced.

So, here at Hotel Chocolat, we urge you to indulge, explore, and always let your heart and taste buds wander. Explore our full collection of chocolate delights and discover a world of aromas, flavours, and textures.