Your Guide To Davao Chocolates + Where to Buy Them
Who doesn't love chocolate? Certainly not us. Locally, Davao has made a name for itself as a source for high-quality cacao beans, with lots of local chocolatiers using these beans to create their bars and more. Plus, a lot of them work directly with farming communities (or are farmers themselves) so you can support farmers, too. Here's a list of local chocolate brands that use Davao cacao beans and where to get them:
When you think of Davao chocolates, the first name that usually comes to mind is Malagos Chocolate. Arguably, this chocolate maker placed Davao chocolate on the global map, but don't just take our word for it-Malagos consistently wins awards at the International Chocolate Awards and Academy of Chocolate Awards, and has even been declared Heirloom Cacao by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund. A popular pasalubong from Davao is their Dark Chocolate Bars, which you can get in 65%, 72%, and 85% dark chocolate. Malagos Chocolate has multiple branches all over the Metro plus Davao and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao. You can shop online, too.
Ever since they launched in 2015, Auro Chocolates quickly grew in popularity and gained recognition in the international chocolate community through their single-origin chocolate bars, made with beans sourced directly from their partner farmers in Davao. Aside from their Classic dark-chocolate and milk-chocolate bars, you can also get special flavors like 55% Dark Chocolate With Arabica Coffee (P79) and 42% Milk Chocolate With Banana Chips (P79). You can shop for Auro Chocolates online or visit their partner establishments.
Theo & Philo
One of the early makers of bean-to-bar chocolate in the Philippines, Theo & Philo prides itself in using only local ingredients for their chocolate. This means cacao beans from Davao and sugar from Bacolod. Aside from their 75% Dark Chocolate (P115), their uniquely-flavored chocolates are a must-try, like their 65% Dark Chocolate with Labuyo (P115). You can shop for Theo & Philo chocolate bars online.
Tigre y Olivia
Local chocolate brand Tigre y Olivia treats chocolate like wine-meaning, they put the focus on how different batches of beans produce different flavor notes. Tigre y Olivia uses single-origin beans from three different communities in Davao-after whom they named their chocolate varieties-Talandang, Santa Maria, and Subasta. Currently, Tigre y Olivia only has one outpost at La Union, where they also sell brownies and ice cream, but you can catch them at bazaars all over the Metro-just follow their Facebook for updates.
From a meeting with then-Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez in 2005, Raul Matias built Manila Chocolatier, a chocolate house that champions Filipino flavors. If you want to introduce someone to the flavors of the Philippines through chocolate, you can't go wrong with Manila Chocolatier's Assorted Box of Chocolates (P2,000). The chocolate pralines, made using Davao cacao beans, are filled with flavors like Leche Flan, Bukayo (coconut), Panotsa Caramel, Barako Coffee, Ube, and more. Each praline is also decorated with a silhouette of different Philippine symbols. Manila Chocolatier is now available in select Kultura branches.
Though not quite as famous (yet) in Manila as other local chocolatiers, Rosario's Delicacies are worth paying attention to. Owned by farmer-couple Emmanuel and Mary Grace Belviz, Rosario's grows their own cacao which they then use to produce chocolate bars and tablea rounds. Their chocolate bars are relatively more budget-friendly, too-you can 75% Dark Chocolate Bar (50-grams) for P105 or 60% Dark Chocolate With Coffee (50-grams) also for P105. Aside from their store in Davao, Rosario's regularly participates in trade fairs in Manila; you can also shop their chocolate online.
Theo and Brom
Belgium-based Theo & Brom combines Davao cacao beans and Belgian techniques to create Belgian Chocolate tablea. Not only do the rounds make for a rich and soothing tsokolate but you can snack on them, too, just like any other dark chocolate. Theo & Brom tablea are available in rolls (good for about six cups of hot chocolate) at P849, or boxes of four discs (good for about 12 cups) at P2,100. You can order your chocolate online.