Battle of the Custom Chocolate Companies

When we wrote about custom-chocolate-bar maker Chocri last year, we didn't realize we were stepping into the middle of a choco-smackdown between Chocri and rival chocolatier Chocomize.

According to the New York Times, among the founders of Chocomize was the brother of a dude who used to work at Chocri. "When asked about Mr. Kaempfer," reports the Times, "Carmen Magar, chief executive of Chocri USA, cried foul: 'We warmly welcomed Fabian to see the production,' she said, 'only for our idea, Web site and processes to be copied two months later.' The Chocomize team denies that accusation."

Bang, snap! I have to say: Chocomize's site does look exactly like Chocri's, and if you click through the site to order a custom bar, as I did, the similarities keep coming up, like the toppings that are available (fleur de sel, goji berries). However the base chocolates are pretty different: Chocomize's dark has 56.8 percent cocoa; Chocri's is 72 percent. But the rest: same same same. You have a point, Ms. Magar.

I ordered the same thing at both sites: a dark chocolate bar with toffee chips, coconut, and candied peanuts. Differences emerged in the ordering process: Chocri's fatal flaw is that the chocolate is coming to you all the way from Germany, thus customers must order a minimum of two bars, and pay steep shipping charges. My Chocri total was a painful $25.45 for two bars, while Chocomize added up to $11.45, which is still kind of painful!

When it came to taste, both bars were utterly awesome (as evidenced by the fact that I ate them before I remembered to take photos). I probably won't go back to pay $12 for approximately four ounces of pleasure anytime soon, but if I did, either site would be a fine choice. I like dark chocolate best, so I preferred Chocri's mouth-coating, cocoa-rich dark, but Chocomize had the edge on toppings, with really fresh-tasting nuts and coconut. Also tipping the balance in Chocomize's favor: My bar arrived in four days, while Chocri's showed up almost three weeks later. Ach du lieber!

Illustration: CHOW.com