[Photo: Robyn Lee]

Husband-and-wife team Maria Fernanda and Alvaro Elias didn't find a place in New York where they could buy their beloved chocolate of their native Venezuela; so they started their own Venezuelan chocolatier, Tu Chocolate. We recently sampled five of their bars and, for the most part, genuinely liked what we tasted.

The chocolate itself is excellent: rich in flavor; slow and smooth to melt on the tongue. So it's not too much of a surprise that our favorite bars were the simplest. Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Sea Salt ($5) had plenty of each, and the ample salt against the rich chocolate made for a memorably good bite; Dark Chocolate with Pecans, Hazelnuts and Toffee Almonds ($5) was much the same. While we didn't dislike the Dark Chocolate with Ginger, Sesame Seeds and Green Tea ($5), we found its taste much more ginger than either sesame or green tea. And the curry in the Dark Chocolate with Cashews, Curry and Pepper ($5) was a little jarring against the rest of it.

The most fun might be the option to customize your own ($6). Choose your base (73.5% dark chocolate, 41% milk, or white) and add up to four toppings—nuts, spices, seeds, and the like. Dark chocolate with pretzels, coffee beans, hazelnuts and sea salt? Don't mind if we do...

Tu Chocolate

Available in stores and at tuchocolate.com

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