Kekao Monthly Craft Chocolate Club - April
Let's take a closer look at what chocolates you can expect to receive this month with the Kekao Box.
Akesson's Organic Chocolate is the first "Tree to Bar" chocolate maker. The Akesson family started with a single plantation in Madagascar. Today, Bertil Akesson has expanded the company's cacao network with plantations in Madagascar, Brazil, and Indonesia. If you tried craft chocolate or world-famous chocolatier chocolate, it is likely that it came from one of Akesson's cacao plantations. Akesson's Organic Chocolate bars have won a multitude of awards and is regarded as one of the best craft chocolate bars on the market.
Expressive with naturally sweet, citrusy, red fruit notes. The Criollo beans for this bar are harvested in limited batches among other bountiful world-renowned cacao. Akesson's nearly 5,000 acres is located in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. Broken up into many smaller plantations, it produces cacao used by chefs and chocolate makers around the world. On the Ambolikapiky plantation, only 2 tons of Criollo beans are grown each year while the rest of the plantation produces 300 tons of Trinitario per year. Certified organic.
Tasting notes: Citrusy, Aromatic, Sweet and Tart Red Fruits
PUMP STREET CHOCOLATE:
Pump Street is an award-winning bakery in the village of Orford on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. After mastering naturally-leavened bread, they ventured into making chocolate from beans imported directly from single estates and cooperatives around the world.
Provenance and process are key to Pump Street's finished bars. They source cacao from the best growers who ferment and dry the beans at the origin. They then tailor their roasting, grinding and conching to yield the best tasting chocolate possible.
Pump Street Ecuador Hacienda Limon 85%
Made from Heirloom Cacao Preservation accredited cocoa beans from Samuel von Rutte's Hacienda Limon farm on the Guantupi River in Ecuador. An extremely palatable high-percentage bar with a rich aroma and a rounded, nutty character.
Tasting notes: Nutty
Based on family recipes and named for founder George Domurot’s niece, a National Park Service Forest Ranger, Ranger Chocolate Company carefully handles each cacao bean to unlock nuance, regionality, and terroir-driven flavours in their chocolate.
This bar is influenced by the ancient Maya culture from Mesoamerica. The Mayan people are known to have combined cacao (“ka’kau”) with spices and chile peppers to produce the “drink of the gods.” With this bar, we honor the traditional ingredients found in their ancient drink, blending them into a unique chocolate experience.
Tasting notes: Spice & Earthy
FRENCH BROAD CHOCOLATE:
Dan and Jael are the founders of French Broad Chocolate. Their journey in chocolate started in 2003 when the two left grad school and moved to Costa Rica where they bought an abandoned cacao plantation and started, Bread & Chocolate bakery. After living in Costa Rica for two years, the couple moved to Ashville, North Carolina where French Broad Chocolate Lounge was opened.
In 2012, Dan and Jael became bean-to-bar chocolate makers and opened French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room. French Broad Chocolate began sourcing cacao from trusted farmers and transforming it into fine chocolate. Since 2012, French Broad has created a variety of chocolates, with tasting notes ranging from fruity to deeply earthy.
French Broad Peru 70%
The cacao for this chocolate is sourced from CAC Pangoa, a large cooperative with over 700 farmer members. Most of their cacao production is undifferentiated “commodity cacao.” But under the leadership of Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, with support from an organization called Conservation Cacao, the members are being encouraged and trained to devote a portion of their production to fine flavor varietals with more attention given to the quality of harvest and fermentation. Conservation Cacao’s mission is to save the rainforest through sustainable cacao.
This single-origin chocolate contains seventy percent cacao and has a cinnamon bark aroma. The flavor profile is tart cherry and lemon, over a creamy cocoa base.
Tasting notes: Tart Cherry, Lemon & Creamy
MARKHAM & FITZ:
Markham & Fitz started in 2014 when two University of Arkansas alumni Lauren Blanco & Preston Stewart pulled their savings together to buy chocolate making equipment. Markham & Fitz's mission is to celebrate people and the cacao bean. They practice sustainability like zero-waste initiatives, compostable and recyclable packaging, transparency in the supply chain, and sourcing high-quality cacao beans.
Markham & Fitz Southern Pecan 52%
This chocolate bar is a 52% dark milk chocolate with Caramelized Pecans & Black Salt. The beans in this chocolate hail from the rural hills surrounding Matagalpa, Nicaragua by cooperative, La Colonia. By partnering with Enliven Cacao in Nicaragua, they hope to create long-lasting relationships with cacao farmers to make our industry a more sustainable, empowering, and equitable place.
Tasting Notes: Nutty & Woody
To get started with craft 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! Each month we will curate 4 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate store.
If you have any questions regarding this blog, our Kekao Box, or premium specialty crafted chocolate bars, feel free to contact us! Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.