Acalli Chocolate Review

Two single-origin dark chocolate bars, same two-ingredient recipe (70% cacao and 30% cane sugar), crafted with the same passion and care by the first artisan bean-to-bar chocolate maker in the state of Louisiana.

But where is the detail that distinguishes the two tablets from each other? It is linked to the origin of their characterizing raw material: cacao. Although sourcing cacao from the same country (Peru) and farmers’ cooperative (Norandino), emerging chocolate artisans like Carol Morse of Acalli Chocolate step up their game in the niche market of micro chocolate makers by tying their products to a more profound meaning of single-origin.

Acalli chocolate maker Carol Morse carefully winnowing cacao beans

The major premise is that cacaos from different regions of a given country do taste differently for being distinct in a set of characteristics provided by a specific intersection of genetic, geographic, climatic, and post-harvest factors.

Inspired by a summer stay in Central America, Carol decided to embark herself upon a novel activity as a chocolate maker in New Orleans in 2014. Husband Luke suggested Carol name her craft chocolate business “Acalli”, which means “canoe” in the Aztec language, for evoking the early method of transporting cacao beans, whose agricultural and socioeconomic value was deeply connected with people.


Tasting 70% Norandino and 70% El Platanal bars

(The former purchased at French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, NC; the latter ordered online via ChocoRush, based in Charleston, SC).

While the 70% Norandino chocolate bar has mild a chocolaty and nutty profile, with a subtle caramel note, the 70% El Platanal releases an outburst of dried plums and raisins, with a bright fruitiness. It must be for this reason that this chocolate bar won a Good Food Award in 2015.

In support of the Chulucanas cacao origin, reading the technical sheets from the Norandino cooperative website, it seems that it is a “limited edition” cacao production, with annual 37.5MT against the 125MT of Tumbes.


Where to find Acalli Chocolate