To’ak – The World’s Most Valuable Chocolate

Made with rare Nacional cacao harvested from just 14 farms in Ecuador’s Piedra de Plata valley, To’ak chocolate is undoubtedly the world’s most valuable chocolate.

From truffle-infused ice cream to gold-plated sandwiches, the world is full of expensive sweets and treats. But while most of them are gimmicky creations designed to attract attention, a few do more than simply add outrageously expensive ingredients that hardly affect the experience of eating them. Ecuadorian chocolate brand To’ak claims that its products are among these few, although judging whether the price of its most expensive offerings is actually justified is ultimately up to the consumer. To’ak is most often referred to as ‘the most expensive chocolate in the world’, which is technically true, as its small chocolate bars can sell for up to $490 per 50-gram bar, but the company believes that simply referring to its product simply as expensive doesn’t really tell the whole story of To’ak.

Photo: To’ak Chocolate

“If it were up to us, we would rather be called the world’s most valuable chocolate,” To’ak co-founder Jerry Toth wrote on the company blog. “Price is just a means to an end. At the end of the day, what we’re really trying to do is create for the world something utterly unique and beautiful, something that transcends merely being an expensive chocolate bar and enters into the realm of experience.”

So what makes To’ak so special that you would even consider spending hundreds of dollars on a small chocolate bar? Well, it’s not just one thing, but rather a collection of factors. First of all, the company only uses the finest Nacional cacao, an ancient variety that was classified as extinct in 2009. Luckily, the people behind To’ak were able to find some of the oldest cacao groves in the world in Piedra de Plata Valley, some of which were later confirmed by DNA analysis to be 100% Nacional cacao.

According to Galavante, To’ak pays the highest rates in the world to its select cacao growers, and that factors into the price of the end product as well. Then there is the chocolate-making process. The cacao beans are selected by hand, to ensure that only the best ones make it into the processing stage. Apart from its pricing, To’ak is most famous for pioneering chocolate aging, a process inspired by the aging of spirits like whisky and cognac.

“When whisky is stored in an oak barrel, it extracts these chemical compounds from the wood and draws them into the whisky, which imparts flavor and color,” a To’ak blog post explains. When aging chocolate in wood barrels, a similar process unfolds. Even in solid form, chocolate has an interesting advantage in extracting flavor and aroma from the wood: namely, the absorptive oils that are naturally present in cacao.”

To’ak has experimented with a number of aging techniques, putting the chocolate in different kinds of barrels (ex-cognac, ex-whisky, etc.), as well as in Ecuadorian wood containers, for various periods of time (from a few months to eight years). The company also mixes its chocolate with aromatic compounds like Cambodian Kampot pepper, Ecuadorian Palo Santo wood, or Galapagos orange, and is constantly experimenting new ways of enhancing the flavor of its chocolate.

It’s worth noting that the artistic packaging and the hand-made wood containers that most To’ak products are shipped in also factor into the price of the chocolate. The Ecuadorian company likes to say that it is selling a complex experience, and judging by the international success of the brand, some people don’t mind paying hundreds of dollars for that.


Not everyone is willing to pay upward of $60 and up to $490 for a chocolate bar, so you’re unlikely to find To’ak chocolate on the shelves of your local supermarket, but if it sounds like something you’d like to try, the official To’ak website is a good place to start.

Since you’ve made it this far, you must be a true chocolate enthusiast, so can we interest you in some less ordinary types of chocolate, like pink chocolate, or this chocolate that allegedly alleviates menstruation symptoms?