Chocolate Purveyors is a blog series where we connect and discuss everything chocolate with both makers and enthusiasts. This discussion is with Hernan Lauber founder of Oodaalolly.

Hernan Lauber

Photo Courtesy Oodaalolly

Do you remember your first experience with real chocolate? What was it?

I grew up in a chocolate factory, literally. My dad has been in the chocolate business since the early 80s and working with him was my after school job since elementary school all the way through college and graduate school. One of the things that I remember loving as a young boy and still love to this day are candied orange peels coated in dark chocolate. Now both my sons love the same exact thing so we always have a huge jar of them stashed in our kitchen.

What does Oodaalolly mean?

Oodaalolly is an expression of joy. That's how we want you to feel when you taste our chocolate for the first time.

Oodaalolly Chocolate

Photo Courtesy Oodaalolly

What chocolate makers can be found in your personal chocolate stash right now?

I like Marou de Faiseurs. Patric and Amadei make some great dark milk bars. Filipino maker Auro. Manoa and Fruition... I try everything so at some point, many bars have been in my chocolate stash.  

How did you end up in the world of craft chocolate? What did you do before?

I returned to craft chocolate after working in a variety of different industries as a business and technology consultant. I like the idea of producing something physical that people can react to so it brings me joy when I get to see others experience joy from what we have created.

What does cacao from the Philippines offer other cacao doesn’t?

Cacao came to the Philippines before anywhere else in Asia because, during the Spanish Galleon trades, Manila was the centralized port of trade where various goods from all parts of the world were exchanged. So when I think Filipino cacao I think earthy, tropical, and fruity. The Philippines grows much great fruit like mangoes, coconuts, pineapple, guava, calamansi, and more so I believe this impacts the flavor of the cacao that grows here.

Oodaalolly Chocolate

Photo Courtesy Oodaalolly

How can we all help promote craft chocolate and chocolate in general?

Quality chocolate tastes good. Everyone has slightly different tastes so eat the chocolate that you like, the chocolate that makes you smile, and share that experience with others. I don't think it needs to be a hard thing and should be pretty simple. Use all your senses, taste everything, and see what you enjoy.

You use the Swiss chocolate technique, can you describe it for us?

Swiss technique is all about smoothness... All the great Swiss chocolate innovators went through an apprenticeship process and they would leverage what they learned from those that came before them and one the most well-known chocolate innovations (other than milk chocolate) that came out of Switzerland was conching. So when we say Swiss techniques it's all about that smoothness...

What new flavors are you currently working with for your upcoming bars?

Our intention as a chocolate maker is to use as many Filipino sourced ingredients as we can in making our bars. Our newly released coffee bar uses coffee from the Philippines; the soon to be released mango bar uses mango from the Philippines, and our tablea is 100% Filipino cacao. Within the constraints of using as many Filipino sourced ingredients as we can, our aim is to make the best chocolate we can.

Oodaalolly Chocolate

Photo Courtesy Oodaalolly

If you could only eat one chocolate bar for the rest of your life, what bar would it be?

That's a hard question to answer but it could truly only choose one bar, it would have to be the dark hazelnut bark made by Laderach in the Zurich location specifically.

What does the future hold for Oodaalolly

We are going to continue to grind it out literally. This is a tough business, the space is very crowded, and we have chosen to do as much as we can ourselves; the sourcing, the importing, the distribution which has its own pros and cons but because it is such a personal business for us - we do it because we enjoy it. We will see where it takes us.

Hernan Lauber

Photo Courtesy Oodaalolly

We want to thank Hernan for taking time to participate in our interview series.

To get started with gourmet chocolate, start with our Kekao Box. We search the world for the finest chocolate bars and bring them right to your doorstep monthly. From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come-up, you never know what you'll get inside the box! 

If you want to try a few bars, check out our online chocolate store.

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April 30, 2024