This Girdwood Chocolatier Is Infusing Tastes of Alaska in Handcrafted Sweets

By | December 19, 2017
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During the holidays it can be hard to figure out what to give your loved ones. Locally made items share the culture of Alaska and help support artisans in your community.

Chugach Chocolates is a local chocolate company run by husband and wife duo Ryan and Emily Wiswesser. Based in Anchorage, their chocolate is made with 60% cacao dark chocolate, giving it a rich and fruity taste that’s balanced with just a hint of sugar. Each bar starts with the same base recipe, but what makes Chugach Chocolate stand out is its specialty flavors.

In July, Chugach Chocolates started unveiling new flavors that highlight locally sourced ingredients. The first was Dark Chocolate with Prince William Sound Sea Salt, a salted chocolate bar seasoned with Alaska Saltworks’ Whittier sea salt. That was followed by Dark Chocolate with Alaskan Birch Syrup Toffee in August, which featuring Bridge Creek birch syrup toffee that’s made in-house. The last flavor revealed was Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans, a collaboration between Chugach Chocolates and Anchorage’s Black Cup.

Dark Chocolate with Prince William Sound Sea Salt

Chugach Chocolate uses dark chocolate for their locally made bars, but don’t let that deter you if you’re not normally a fan of the more bitter flavors; their versions are creamy, rich, and balanced. The Prince William Sound sea salt bar is a welcomed alternative to the flagship Pink Himalayan sea salt, which I find more savory and mild. The Prince William Sound bar brings a bit of a sharper flavor. Pair this chocolate with your favorite Pinot Noir.

Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans

Anyone else have car chocolate during the winter? The perfect morning pick-me-up is a chocolate bar that taste like an espresso bean. Black Cup’s french roast provides the perfect crunch to the more tame sweetness found in this bar. French roast is less acidic than a medium or light roast, which allows the smoky flavor to intensify the bold coffee notes. Of all the new specialty flavors Chugach Chocolate has to offer, this one has the most well-rounded flavor profile.

Dark Chocolate with Alaskan Birch Syrup Toffee

As much as I love the espresso bar, my absolute favorite is the Alaskan Birch syrup toffee bar. The rich dark chocolate really stands out when paired with the nutty sweetness of the toffee. The addition of birch syrup is a subtle but noticeable addition. There’s an earthiness that pairs well with the natural nuttiness of toffee. This is the chocolate I’ll be giving out for Christmas.

Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt

Chugach Chocolate’s flagship bar with Pink Himalayan sea salt is the best salted chocolate bar I’ve ever had. The secret is in the Pink Himalayan sea salt, which adds a savory element that blends well with the chocolate. Because of its more distinct flavor, the punch of Pink Himalayan salt is more evenly blended into the richness of the chocolate. It’s a mild salted flavor that makes it real easy to finish the bar, whether you intend to or not.

> Chugach Chocolates is available for purchase at 33 locations in Anchorage, Cordova, Denali, Fairbanks, Girdwood, Haines, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Portage, Sitka, Soldotna and Talkeetna; or online at

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