Chocolate wouldn’t be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking about Scotland’s natural larder but you may be surprised to know that there are dozens of independent and artisanal chocolatiers thriving in all four corners of the country; from Dumfries & Galloway to Shetland.
Although cocoa isn’t grown here in Scotland, chocolatiers go to great lengths to carefully source fairly traded, good quality cocoa beans. It’s what goes into the chocolate that gives it a uniquely Scottish twist.
Made entirely by hand, the finest Scottish cream, butter, foraged berries, herbs, whisky and other liquors (including Scottish-made gin) all go into the final product.
As well as producing a range of delicious truffles, ganaches and bars, some operate in some of Scotland’s most dramatic locations. For instance, Cocoa Mountain is set in the natural wilderness of Sutherland in the very north of the Highlands.
The List magazine have produced a food trail map with 78 of Scotland’s small-scale chocolate-makers in co-operation with the Scottish Chocolatiers Network.
There are some that are not open to visitors but their chocolates are available to buy. Some also have cafés where you can sit with a coffee, cake or chocolate after viewing the chocolate-making process in action. A number of the chocolatiers also offer chocolate-making masterclasses, including special workshops for children.
When planning your visit to Scotland, follow the colour-coded key on the map to find out which chocolate-makers are open to visitors, have cafés and shops and also those which offer classes as well.