International Chocolate Awards 2022 Final Winners

The highest-scoring products in origin dark and milk chocolate bars were announced as overall winners of this year’s competition. This season’s overall winners come from Thailand, a growing country with an ever-evolving craft chocolate scene.

Best dark origin bar – PARADAi Chantaburi Dark 70%

“Chantaburi Dark 70%” was the best unflavoured dark chocolate bar, made by PARADAi, a small micro-batch chocolate maker in Thailand, with a fabulous score of 91.8 out of 100 on the chocolate scale, which is one of the highest we have seen this year. PARADAi was awarded a Special Gold as Chocolate Maker and for Direct Trade.

A boozy-fruit flavour, like tropical fruits in rum or maybe tequila. / Alex Rast

Notes of green tea, blueberry, and a finish of lavender. / Barbie Van Horn

A taste of peach cider and green grass. / Martin Christy

High-quality entries

The Grand Jury, led by Martin Christy, Maricel Presilla and Monica Meschini co-founders of the International Chocolate Awards, were impressed by the consistency of quality among the winners despite the ever-changing nature of cacao being used. Winners were selected from nearly 200 entrants from all over the world, all of whom won a prize at their respective regional or national competitions earlier in the season.

This year’s WOW moments in judging were expressions of local herbs, wood, and teas, through subtlety and balance with their chocolate counterparts. Also, witnessing the flavour progression of cacao from origins like Mexico and India is a thrill! / Adrienne Dawn Newton

The judging panel tasted the entries in anonymised judging and included food writers, cacao and chocolate experts, journalists, and IICCT-certified chocolate tasters from the USA, Canada, South America, and Europe, as well as members of the Awards’ international Grand Jury panel.

Prizes were awarded in over 40 categories ranging from plain to flavoured bars and included ganache truffles, pralines, caramels, dragées, spreads and cocoa ingredients. Many of the entering companies took home multiple prizes Scores were published for each winning product, using the IICCT scoring system, which is tuned to match the scoring scale used in specialty coffee.

Scores

The International Chocolate Awards is continuing its drive for transparency and standardisation in chocolate sensory evaluation, using the flavour profiling system from our parent body, the IICCT. As part of this initiative, they are now listing the scores for all winners and finalists, giving consumers a better guide for chocolate quality and entrants something extra to celebrate along with their medals. The scores given are similar to those used in specialty coffee, where 80 and above indicate fine chocolate quality and scores above 90 suggest extraordinary quality and craft. The prize breakpoints are set by the Grand Jury for each category, according to the product type.

The 10th Edition of the International Chocolate Awards is now over, but the competition schedule for 2023 will be announced soon. The Awards will continue to work closely with the IICCT Alumni Community in the organisation of the national and regional competitions, judging and other events going forward.

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