Here is a special thing that happens to be vegan: dark chocolate made by Polka, a small local bean-to-bar manufacturer that splits production between Auckland and Wellington. Polka combines local ingredients like New Zealand grown hazelnuts with fairly traded organic cacao beans from the Dominican Republic, handcrafts beautiful chocolate bars and wraps each one in limited-run patterned paper designed by founder Jane Mason.
Each bar uses a short list of carefully chosen ingredients, and most are vegan: sesame toffee, salted hazelnut, coconut chip and just plain intensely dark chocolate. (There’s also a crystallised rose flavour that includes egg).
(A serving suggestion: crumble sesame toffee on top of vanilla bean Nice Cream).
The one place I’ve found Polka Chocolate in Auckland is at Flotsam & Jetsam on Ponsonby Road – it’s also stocked at Ingrid Starnes in Newmarket and Simon James Design at The Department Store in Takapuna, and you can order online from Polka’s website.
For more about how Polka Chocolate happens, read interviews with founder Jane Mason on gather & hunt, Ingrid Starnes (highlight: a cute picture of one of Jane’s foster kittens!), and The News at The Department Store.