An Ode To The Ritual—And People—Of Fine Cacao And Chocolate

One morning, before breakfast, I opened my dream box, the one where I carefully store all the aromatic chocolate and cacao products. It seemed so granted a ritual, but I realized I was going on like that for at least a year. Then a question, “Which do I choose today? A small piece of chocolate or a spoonful of cacao nibs for my bowl with cereals?”. Next question, “Origin: Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, etc.”

In this kind of imprinting, one thing was clear and loud after that morning: to be extremely lucky. That seemingly obvious ritual is not so at all. Because, although this niche still reserves further developments and deserved improvements, we all already living in a golden age for chocolate. With investments we can still afford, we can have the luxury of a ritual that leads us not only toward a different origin each time, but toward one of the best of a given country of origin. If we can afford this luxury, we owe everything to people who believe in quality and apply it. These people know how to control the result of their own raw material also with regard to the finished product—whoever the chocolate maker, most of the times.

The last question then came naturally to me: “Will it be the same in 20-30 years time? How and to whom will this care for quality passed on?”.
Often we take for granted that this delight on the palate is something that will always be guaranteed. (And I do not intend to refer to the latest concerns about climate change.)

I would like this message to be read by those who will have a similar task, because it will be a great, great responsibility.

The moment I fell in love with specialty chocolate was on a winter afternoon. As usual, I was snacking on a fruit, an orange specifically, and immediately afterward, I indulged in some chips flavored with a mix of Mediterranean spices. Immediately after those tastings in rapid succession, I had a very distinct sensory dejavù: the combination of flavors created in my palate recalled the same sensations I had with a specific chocolate tasted weeks before. At that moment, I was moved, I did know that chocolate could provide the widest flavor and aromatic sensations, but that was the exact moment I never left chocolate.

A single food had remained inside me to be recalled by the combination of more foods later on.

 

Are you a chocolate lover? Do you resemble my ritual, or from what yours is different?

Are you a grower or supplier of fine/aromatic cacao? Do you know the importance of passing on quality and care to the next generations?