Chocolate Purveyors 13- Luisa Abram
Chocolate Purveyors is a blog series where we connect and discuss everything chocolate with both makers and enthusiasts. This discussion is with Luisa Abram the founder of Luisa Abram Chocolates.
Luisa Abram is a chocolate maker from Brazil. Much could be said in praise of Luisa Abram‘s chocolate, from the rarest, wild-harvested cacao she taps, to the slow-churned fermentation, small-batch micro-lot production techniques, and so much more. However, none of that can quite convey how singular the taste is. The notes of cacao are direct, clear, and pure but also arresting in just how unique they are compared to any other chocolate.
Do you remember your first experience with real chocolate? What was it?
I don’t remember my first experience with chocolate, but I do remember that one of my favorite cakes as a kid was a chocolate one, chocolate bomb! I was introduced to pastries at my grandma’s house at the age of 3. She used to do a lot of pastries to sell and I would always help her!
How did training in gastronomy help you in crafting chocolate?
Well, I think the most valuable lesson from school was the development of my senses, palate, and scent. Also, it made my horizon open for Brazilian ingredients, textures, flavors. When I first got into the food world I was thinking about going to Europe to learn, but as I met a few people I noticed that a lot of them had the same plan as me. That threw me off a bit so I started to look for something new, unique, and I’m glad because I found cacao and chocolate.
How do you search for cacao to use when making chocolate?
That’s a fun question! Well, I don’t search for the cacao, after all, most beans I use I’m the first one to make chocolate out of it so I have no idea which flavor profile will come out of it. I look for people, people who are willing to learn, who are dedicated and need that crop to better their lives. But I must say so far I got really lucky with the flavors of the chocolates.
What books would you recommend to up and coming chocolatiers?
I would say Contagious from Jonah Berger. Just because it teaches so much about word of mouth and the importance of having a story. Also, for chocolate aficionados, a blog, John Nanci’s chocolatealchemy.com. This one is a must. Every time I have trouble with chocolate I see if John’s already written something about it!
What chocolate are you eating from other makers these days?
Hum… oh gosh, Hogarth, Forte Chocolates, Metiisto, Fruition, Sirene, Mission Chocolate, Soma, Mirzam, Naïve. Sorry for the long list!
Do you have a personal favorite terroir?
It changes from time to time, but as of now, Juruá River is my favorite. I don’t know if it’s because I know how much we worked together with the community for it, or it’s because it’s totally unique flavor for Brazil. There is a lot going on with this origin!
Do you prefer a hot cup of coffee or chocolate in the morning?
Can I say both?! Cause it's actually both! My morning routine is a cup of strong coffee with a bit of milk at home. I don’t eat and then when I get to the factory its tasting time!
What is the craft chocolate scene in Brazil like?
I’m just going to say that I think it’s Brazil's turn to showcase our flavors! We have a lot of intelligent and driven people working with bean-to-bar and tree-to-bar in Brazil and this is making our cacao and chocolate better. We are the biggest country in the cacao belt, therefore we have an immense potential for different terroirs, which enchants me!
How do you think craft chocolate can become more popular like Craft Beer or Specialty Coffee. Or is it there already?
We can definitely become more popular. With products like beer, coffee, wine, whiskey, tea, they all have their own rituals. For instance, beer is usually associated with hanging out with a friend at night and having fun. We need to create, as a community, our ritual for chocolate. A space that craft chocolate in the center. I think we are not there yet, but I can really see it being a thing!
What does the future hold for Luisa Abram Chocolates?
I really want to expand my sales. By selling more products I can help the origins and open new ones. US, European and Japanese markets are our focus for 2020, as well as making bite sizes and work with more ingredients typically from Brazil.
We want to thank Luisa for taking the time to participate in our interview, we had a chance to feature Luisa's Rio Purus Wild Cocoa 70% chocolate bar in our December Kekao Box, it is definitely a special chocolate bar.
From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come up, you never know what you get inside the box!
Each month we will curate 4 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
Have someone who you appreciate? It also makes as a great gift!
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate shop, it's a selection of what we have curated in our past boxes.
Too much chocolate? You can pause at any time!
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