Needless to say, this is the most important ingredient: The quality and origin of the cocoa define the character of the chocolate. The cocoa we use is from Ecuador, a country reknowned for growing some of the world's finest quality cocoa beans, known as Arriba Nacional. The cocoa we use has a beautifully deep and complex flavour and, unlike most cocoa butters available, ours has not been deoderised so it retains a rich and indulgent aroma.
We are very happy to be working closely with SKS Farms in Ecuador. SKS are a fantastic company who produce amazing products with great ethics at every step. SKS partner directly with small-scale farmers and pay a significant premium over market prices to ensure they are fairly compensated for their hard work. SKS have also set up a number sustainability programs within the communities where the cocoa is grown.
Cocoa is a food that is rich in nutrients and a complexity still being discovered. However, probably the most well known health benefit is the remarkable antioxidant capacity of cocoa, due to the high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are delicate, heat-sensitive compounds that are largely destroyed in the chocolate-making process, often intentionally as the polyphenols are responsible for the bitter taste of cocoa. However, in line with SKS Farms' committment to offer the very best of the Arriba Nacional cacao bean, they have developed a method of processing the cocoa beans - from harvesting through to chocolate-making - where the cocoa does not reach high temperatures which ensures that the 'cooking' process does not begin which would change the structure of the food. The aim is to make sure that you are taking as much of the benefit nature has packed into the cocoa bean as possible even after it's been made into a chocolate bar.
For information about SKS Farms, visit the website of their own brand of excellent chocolate, Pacari Chocolate. We also distribute Pacari Chocolate in the UK, as well as the raw cocoa ingredients. Please contact us for more information.