I first fell for Theo Chocolate at the Fancy Food Show, an industry showcase of thousands of edibles destined for the marketplace. It's no small feat that in that big unsexy convention center on a weekday afternoon, Theo's earnest yet unusual chocolate bars rose above the din. Literally, it was their noisy crunch that caught my attention—the flavor that seduced me was their bread and chocolate bar, dark chocolate punctuated with shards of baguette and bits of salt.
Over the years, I've tried a variety of their other products, and have continually been impressed: Pink peppercorns and dried cherries in a milk chocolate bar; a dense coconut bar with dark chocolate tasted like the love child of two superfoods (which, in fact, it is). This season, Theo has introduced a box of confections that's a collaboration between some top West Coast chefs and the Seattle-based chocolatier, with $15 from the purchase of each $37 box going to the local food bank. Suddenly, contemplating which bonbon to taste first — Chris Cosentino's agrodolce brittle, for instance, or Holly Smith's beet pate de fruit with almond praline — feels a tad less frivolous.