Chocolate is quite literally “the food of the gods.” Discovered by Aztecs and Olmecs thousands of years ago, it was revered by kings and statesmen. Good for the heart and rich in antioxidants, chocolate has also been called the love drug. It unleashes a flood of feel-good chemicals and boosts the metabolism. It invigorates the sex drive and gives rise to the same brainwave patterns as being in love.
Alleged nymphomaniac Madame du Barry exhorted her lovers to drink chocolate so they could keep up with her. It has been associated with blasphemy, witchcraft, extortion and seduction. Americans eat 1.5 billion pounds of it each year, but in the quest for the most expensive chocolate only a few claim the highest stations.
The Most Expensive Chocolate Ever Sold
There are four sweets through history that have earned the mantle of the most expensive chocolate ever sold. These decadent delectables hail from New York and London and if anyone ever offers you a ride in a time machine they’re worth looking into. One is a dessert, one a chocolate egg, one a box of candy and another a cocoa sweet. Prices for the now-consumed confectionaries ranged anywhere from $1,600 for a bar to $25,000 for a single cup. Unfortunately the costly price tags for these candies come mostly from gimmicks like adding gold and jewels to the packaging, not necessarily from flavor elevated to the realm of the angelic.
Frrrozen Haute Chocolate: $25,000 Per Cup
The most expensive chocolate ever sold was a dessert called the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate. This high-end after meal treat found its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the costliest cacao on record. Created from a mix of fine cocoas and whole milk, the sweet is frozen, then mixed with five grams of pure gold. Whipped cream and more gold complete the elegant consumable, which is then garnished with a Madeline Au Truffe from House of Knipschildt chocolatiers. Served in a goblet and surrounded by a golden, diamond crusted crown, the treat is eaten with a pure gold spoon. In this case is it the chocolate that warrants such an elevated price, or the package that surrounds it? The dessert was served by Serendipity 3 restaurant on East 60th Street in New York.
Golden Speckled Egg: $11,107
The quest for the most expensive chocolate continues, this time eschewing gilt and jewels in favor of quantity. This egg was created by London chocolatier William Curley in a successful bid to be immortalized within the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s the most expensive non-jeweled chocolate egg sold at auction in history. The price? More than $10,000, paid by tech investor Cyrus Vandrevala. History does not relate how long it took him to eat it. Seven master chocolatiers worked for three days to construct the outsized ovoid. For materials they used the famous Amadei chocolate from Venezuela’s Chuao region, thought by many to be the finest chocolate in the world.
Also see: Most Expensive Whiskey
Swarovski Studded Chocolates: $10,000 Per Box
British upmarket department-cum-grocery store Harrods launched its line of Swarovski-studded chocolates in 2008. Unfortunately the priceless nature of these costly comestibles descends mainly from the packaging. Each condensed cacao treat was graced with a handmade rose of Swarovski crystal, gold and silk. The third most expensive chocolate ever sold was then placed in a handcrafted leather box appointed with silk from China and India. The box was designed exclusively for Harrods by Lebanese chocolatier Patchi. Inside, each chocolate was partitioned with platinum and gold.
Wispa Gold Wrapped Chocolate: $1,628 Per Bar
A gimmicky entry into the ranks of the most expensive chocolate, the Wispa Gold is confectioner conglomerate Cadbury’s attempt at a publicity stunt. Cadbury created the Wispa Gold bar as a high-priced cousin to its $1.00 Wispa Gold bar. The candy is identical to that in the regular wrapper for sale in British supermarket checkouts, but it’s wrapped in edible gold foil. Even this luxury trapping wouldn’t be enough to justify the price, which Cadbury set arbitrarily high to reflect the bar’s price “if it were made out of solid gold.” Proceeds from the sale were donated to the UK Lowe Syndrome Trust, a charitable organization.
The Most Expensive Chocolate on Offer
Now that we’ve shared the identities of the costliest chocolates ever sold, let’s move on to the most expensive chocolate shoppers can actually sink their gold teeth into. The dearest of all delectables costs three times more than cocaine and ten times more than silver. Even more enticing, these elite treats don’t owe their value to gold, platinum or jewels, but to the quality of the edible experience itself.
To’ak Chocolate: $173 Per Ounce
A true chocolate seeker’s chocolate, To’ak is the crest of cacao on contemporary Earth. The most expensive chocolate that can be had anywhere today, To’ak is artisan chocolate produced in the spirit of the master blenders of the whiskey world. Connoisseurs have called it soft and silky with a noble character, yet intense with hints of cherries, sandalwood and caramel. The signature Cognac Cask bar is aged for 18 months in a 50-year-old French oak Cognac cask. Only 100 were ever produced. Sourced in Ecuador, this most elegant of chocolates was originally ground from semi-wild cacao growing along the banks of mountain streams.
Chocopologie by Knipschildt: $162 Per Ounce
La Madeline au Truffe is the most expensive chocolate from the Chocopologie line, crafted by artisan chocolatier Knipschildt. Called the most extravagant chocolate in the world, this sensory explosion starts with 70% Valrhona dark chocolate. Blended with sugar, heavy cream, sugar and truffle oil, it forms the base for the decadent ganache. This Elysian admixture then enrobes a rare French Perigord truffle mushroom. Rolled in fine cocoa powder, it is finally cuddled on a bed of sugar pearls in a silver box tied shut with a ribbon. Each Madeline au Truffe is made to order and has a seven day shelf life.
Delafee: $32 Per Ounce
A big step down the most expensive chocolate staircase, Delafee may be more affordable than the top tier offerings but it’s still entirely delectable. The Swiss chocolatier’s luxury sweet box contains eight truffles concocted of Ecuadorian Grand Cru chocolate, wrapped in edible gold leaf. The candies are ensconced in a satin covered wooden gift box with a high gloss finish. Delafee chocolate is more about the gold leaf than the edible treat, since Delafee specializes in wrapping lots of different items in gold.
Also see: Most Expensive Cars
Richart Chocolate: $8 Per Ounce
Parisian chocolatier Richart purveys fine confectionaries through over a dozen specialty boutiques throughout Europe, Tokyo and the United States. They offer truffles, filled chocolates, plain chocolates and their Petits Richart collection, which includes ultra fine gourmet dark chocolates for the connoisseur and purist. Each box curates an impressive display of refined and single-origin cacao pieces. The fine chocolates represented include Sarajiva from the Indian Ocean, Sambiraja from Madagascar, Santonido from Santo Domingo and Panewi from Papua New Guinea. The name and percentage of each bean is showcased on the custom wrapper.
Pierre Marcolini: $6.50 Per Ounce
Haute chocolatier Pierre Marcolini hails from Brussels, and earns his place in the world of most expensive chocolate by dint of his line of specialty tablets. Each nine-faceted signature bar is “a journey into the very heart of the cocoa bean’s origins” The chocolates showcase storied beans from Brazil, Madagascar, Ecuador, Cuba, Vietnam and Venezuela. The most expensive is the Venezuela Chuao at fifty Euros per tablet pack. Possessed of hazelnut notes and tones of fruit, its maker suggests that it be savored like a great wine, creating one of the most memorable experiences a chocolate fan can encounter.
Debauve & Gallais: $6 Per Ounce
From Paris, Debauve & Gallais was founded over 200 years ago by chocolatier Sulpice Debauve, official chemist to King Louis XVI. The company offers a wide array of cherished treats from bonbons to signature truffles, tablettes and a line of chocolate coins first created for Queen Marie Antoinette. Their line includes tins of chocolate almonds enjoyed by Emperor Napoleon and “Les Incroyables,” pearls of roasted Spanish almost grains coated and filled with a delicately bittersweet chocolate. Their most expensive chocolate offering is a leather-bound “book” of bonbons, but it won’t likely ship in time for Christmas. There is a long waiting list for each of their handcrafted confections.
Chuao Chocolatier: $5 Per Ounce
Chuao takes up its station in the world of most expensive chocolate not through gold leaf, jewels or rarity but through superb offerings in terms of flavor and originality. Southern California’s premier artisan chocolatier, Chuao was founded by Venezuelan-born master chef Michael Antonorsi. The company gets full marks for originality with one-of-a-kind chocolate bars, truffles, bon-bons and drinking chocolates. Creative recipes incorporate chipotle, sea salt, Panko, cayenne and other spices. Some selections include a pleasant surprise of lavender, honeycomb or hibiscus. Still others conceal popping candy. All offerings are Fair Trade and organic. Chuao is as close as reality gets to Willy Wonka.
Richard Donnelly Chocolates: $4.75 Per Ounce
Stepping back into the world of the artiste, Richard Donnelly creates his entry in the most expensive chocolate canon with an exuberance of time and love. The small-batch consumables begin with European ingredients, tempered by a hot-and-cold process and then handmade into bars and truffles, liquor balls and drinking chocolate. There is no hint of factory about these sweets which hearken back to old world craftsmanship. Donnelly also creates vegan offerings made with almond oil or avocado oil. National Geographic calls these “one of the world’s ten best.” Orders taken by phone only.
Teuscher Chocolate: $4.70 Per Ounce
Renowned Swiss chocolatier Teuscher is responsible for the next most expensive chocolate in the world, known for its incomparable Champagne Truffles. These have at their darkest heart a chocolate ganache center infused with a creamy concoction of Dom Perignon. Enrobed by milk chocolate, the truffles are shipped weekly from Zurich to stores in North America. It has been said that relishing a truffle from Teuscher “ranks among life’s greatest pleasures.” Teuscher chocolates have been called uber-sexy and were rated by National Geographic as the #1 best in the world.
Vosges Haut Chocolat: $4.30 Per Ounce
Chicago-based Vosges Haut makes one of the most accessible expensive chocolates available. Single-origin chocolates from France, Switzerland and Belgium are mixed with tantalizing ingredients from from spices to herbs and roots in an exciting combination of infusions and emulsions. Their Black Pearl truffle for example incorporates dark chocolate and Japanese ginger and wasabe, topped with black sesame seeds. Exotic fresh ingredients sourced from the far corners of the Earth contribute to the high price of these one-of-a-kind pleasures.
La Maison du Chocolat: $4 Per Ounce
Flamboyant, extravagant and playful are the words that characterize the exciting expensive chocolates from Paris-based La Maison du Chocolat. Truffles, assortments, bars and decadent treats make up their palette. Celebrated in bright colors and exciting shapes, these confectionaries range from dark offerings for the purist to flavored truffles and bars to rainbow squares and chocolate-covered fruits. La Maison also sells a prismatic line of macarons and pastries.