Scotland’s food and drink industry has plenty to boast about: our whisky, shortbread, and more recently, our gin. One food that doesn’t spring to mind when you think of Scotland is chocolate.
So you will probably be surprised to hear there are over 60 companies across Scotland making and selling their own chocolate; our new Scottish Chocolate Box infographic (click the image below to enlarge) highlights a selection of the wealth and creativity of Scottish chocolate producers.
Get the full infographic here.
Artisan Scottish chocolate brands
Far from Willy Wonka style factories pumping chocolate out by the barrel load, Scottish chocolate producers tend to be small, artisan brands, hand making their chocolate near, or sometimes even in, their home (however, Scottish food giant Mackie’s is currently in the process of building their own chocolate factory on their Aberdeenshire premises).
But don’t make the mistake of thinking Scottish chocolatiers are hobbyists not to be taken seriously. Perthshire’s Iain Burnett, known as The Highland Chocolatier, trained under Master Chocolatiers of the Belgian, Swiss and French schools. Nadia Ellingham of Edinburgh’s Thinking Chocolate trained in Belgium, Canada and Slattery’s of Manchester. And Stacy Hannah of Glasgow’s Sugar Wings was an assistant chocolatier for luxury London based Rococo Chocolates before launching her own chocolate company.
Pushing boundaries of chocolate
From the Aberdonian 17 year old who launched his own chocolate firm using family recipes (Cocoa Ooze’s Jamie Hutcheon based in Aberdeen) to the Perthshire chocolatier who took three years to perfect his award winning velvet truffle (Iain Burnett), each Scottish chocolate maker has a unique selling point and a tale to tell.
Scottish chocolate producers are inventive, pushing boundaries by creating adventurous flavours such as chilli lemongrass truffle (courtesy of Cocoa Mountain based in Durness) and gin and tonic (Edinburgh’s Coco Chocolate).
With gorgeous patterns and embellishments, Scottish chocolatiers are not only making chocolate that is delicious to eat but gorgeous to look at, most notably the cute edible transfers on Aberdeenshire’s Felicity’s Chocolates and the stunning patterns and geometric shapes from Sugar Wings.
Artistry is also in packaging too beautiful to rip open; married couple Matt and Ish of Ocelot Chocolate in Edinburgh even draw and design all their packaging and artwork and Coco Chocolate’s wrapping is adorned with stylish textiles and patterns striking enough to frame.
Some Scottish chocolate brands are even helping change the perception of chocolate as a guilty treat to a healthy superfood, such as Stirling’s iQ Chocolate and Edinburgh’s Decadently Pure, whose chocolate is made “bean to bar” (where each step of the chocolate making process, from grinding the beans to moulding the bar is done by the maker), only contains natural ingredients, and is free from dairy, wheat, gluten, soya, refined white sugar and anything artificial .
Chocolates with Scottish ingredients
In a time where consumers are more aware than ever where ingredients come from, chocolatiers north of the border use small local producers to make their creations uniquely Scottish. Ocelot Chocolate and In House Chocolates from Dumfries and Galloway make chocolate flavoured with Hebridean sea salt, Sugar Wings of Glasgow’s has a heart shaped chocolate made with Heather Rose Gin from Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire, and Tobermory Chocolates on the Isle of Mull use the nearby Tobermory Malt Whisky in their whisky selection.
As Ocelot Chocolate put on their website: “High-grade dark chocolate – like a fine wine or a specialty cheese – is up there with the most special things in the world and it is an experience to savour, with flavour notes that come in waves and linger long after you finish.”
Instead of reaching for a mass produced chocolate from a supermarket shelf, why not treat your loved one to high quality chocolate created by Scottish chocolatiers who pour their heart and soul into each delicious bite.
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