This year we held the first annual Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival! Caribeans along with several other key chocolate makers and chocolatiers set the foundation for what will be a major Costa Rica event in the coming years!
One goal we have as a company is to increase awareness amongst cacao producers of the value they can add to their cacao if it is fermented and dried on location at the farm. Many have told me that getting consistent cacao quality is impossible if the farmers are fermenting and drying at the farm. I tried at first to blend all of these different farm origins to make one consistent bar.
Know what...they were right. It is very difficult to make the chocolate taste the same from such a dynamic produce. Grapes have their terrior, coffee has its regions, tobacco for fine cigars is classified by flavor derived from its origin. So why not celebrate all of the differences from farm to farm?
For the last year we have been doing just that. Our chocolate is one of the only chocolates made from farm to farm in small batches. And this year cacao producers could compete head to head with their cacao being made into chocolate.
Six producers selected their best work and submitted 5 kilos of cacao to our chocolate maker. Each chocolate was made using strict standards. Same roast, same sugar and same conching time in the melangeur. Once the chocolates were finished we held a community wide blind tasting. The community selected the chocolate with the most cocoa flavor but with less bitterness and acidity.
At the end of the PVCF we anounced the winner! Pascal from the Cocles area won the 2012 Cacao Producer of the Year Award. Congratulations Xocotal!
Chocolate Diaries from the Caribeans Bean-To-Bar chocolate maker..