Food

WATCH: The Best Local Nama Chocolates

More and more local chocolate purveyors are creating their versions of this complex and satisfying confection.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/CHUMOTO, INSTAGRAM/CHOCOLATE ALLEY
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Whether it’s date night or a special holiday, chocolates are the best gift ever. While it may seem overly simple on some occasions, you just can’t go wrong with a box of these deeply tasty treats. When it comes to giving chocolates as gifts, the question should really be: what kind? It has to be special but reasonable. For mom, especially, it has to be of a higher caliber than your everyday grocery variety. Here’s our idea: nama chocolates.

Though its exact origins are debatable, nama chocolates were popularized in Japan. According to the Michelin Guide, nama technically means “raw,” but when it comes to chocolate, it refers to pureness and freshness. Considered a type of ganache, the melt-in-your-mouth blocks are composed of melted cacao and fresh cream that solidify into cubes. To finish, cocoa powder is sprinkled on top. 

This delicious chocolate variation was made popular by Hokkaido-based chocolate company Royce, which began producing it in 1996. However, it is by no means the only source for nama chocolates. Recently, more and more local chocolate purveyors have delved into creating their own versions of this complex and satisfying confection—and all of them are sure to appeal to your mom’s sweet tooth. 

Chew

This Royce dupe is the real deal. Presented in a neat gift-ready grid, Chew offers four varieties: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, matcha, and cinnamon. Personal preferences may come into play with the flavor you prefer, but each dusty brick features that breathtakingly decadent quality. This insanely rich mouthfeel belies how quickly it dissolves inside your mouth, prompting you to pick up another piece just to check if all that goodness was real in the first place. How Chew manages to do both so easily is beyond our comprehension. It’s just really good and addictive.  

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Chumoto Chocolates

Mixing cultures is Chumoto, which uses local chocolate to create these Japanese-inspired sweets. Each batch is lovingly handmade using only the freshest cream and delivered on the same day in insulated foil bags to preserve its quality. Chumoto offers three variants, 62% Done Dark (bittersweet, just the way chocolate should be), 41% Made Milk (sweetish and silky), and 33% Matcha Mori White (the pleasant bitter notes of green tea and chocolate marrying well together). Apart from advocating Filipino chocolates, Chumoto also ensures that its process and packaging leave minimal waste. Mama does love a good cause.

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Mana

Opting for a more luxury appeal, Mana uses only premium Belgian chocolate, skimmed milk cream, and absolutely zero added sugar. Though there are only two flavors—dark and white chocolate—Mana comes up with a more diverse catalog by adding a vegan chocolate option as well as more toppings. Apart from the usual cocoa powder, it has cinnamon, cookies and cream, strawberry, white chocolate, and matcha—all of which you can mix and match in one box. For Mother’s Day, you can request a special gift card and ribbon for free. How about it? A Mana nama for Mama?

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Chocolate Alley

That cool block of chocolate melting slowly on your tongue? It’s really something you need to experience firsthand. Chocolate Alley makes that feeling even bolder by going beyond the usual chocolate and green tea flavors. Think Bailey’s Irish Cream or Tequila Rose. The flavor of the alcohol comes through so well as the truffle dissolves. This is the perfect dessert for a mom who enjoys a little nip after-hours. If she wants an excuse to have chocolate in the morning, a Café Au Lait flavor, using premium dark roast beans, is also available.

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Bitesize PH

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One of the first purveyors of local nama chocolates, Bitesize has been around since 2017 and was even included in Yummy’s Best Desserts of 2018. Decadent with a texture that reminds us of luxurious velvet, these perfectly bite-sized treats will leave you utterly hooked if you’re not careful. The flavor is sinful dark chocolate—incredibly silky, cool, with a luxurious texture that contradicts its affordability (it’s a little over a hundred pesos). Despite numerous resellers, Bitesize is almost always sold out—a testament to its quality, but also a reminder not to wait till the last minute to buy a gift for mom. 

Order here.

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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