Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel across the continental divide to the indigenous village called Alta Guayami. I met with a few of the members of the tribe and they agreed to share their cacao with Caribeans.
Since then, we have made the Ngabe chocolate bar with 72% cocoa nibs and 28% raw organic sugar. Right away the aroma of this chocolate was much more sweet and flowery. The first flavors present citrus, melon, then growing into rum raisin and finishing with a touch of anise.
Tasting this extremely different chocolate got me thinking. What if we built a flavored chocolate entirely on the base of the Ngabe chocolate? Wouldn't the same spices tasted different when combined with different single sourced chocolate?
Since we sell our chocolate at the Feria Verde in Aranjuez, San Jose, Costa Rica, this passing thought came at exactly the right moment. Sitting across the way is a herb and spice seller. I picked up a bar of the Ngabe and made my way over to the world of flavors awaiting me. I imagined spices that might mesh well with the rum raisin and anise flavors of the chocolate. I asked if the "herbologist" had tarragon, which he of course did. Taking a bite of the Ngabe and a couple tarragon leaves, I did my first extreme single source chocolate and spice pairing.
After a little more tinkering, we are now making a Ngabe chocolate with tarragon and rock candy sugar crystals. Our first flavored chocolate built from the bean up!
Chocolate Diaries from the Caribeans Bean-To-Bar chocolate maker..