A new 80% dark chocolate bar using cacao beans sourced from Samoa was launched at Fine Foods New Zealand by Devonport Chocolates in Auckland recently.
Devonport Chocolate owner Stephanie Everitt says it has always been a goal of hers to find a local source of ethically grown cacao to produce a South Pacific chocolate.
The cacao beans are sourced from “a rare and rather unique cacao supply” giving the new chocolate higher cocoa mass solids making it ideal for sweet or savoury dishes.
“This chocolate really speaks of its origin with its dark earthy richness,” Mrs Everitt said.
The area where the cacao is grown is free from fertilisers and pesticides with good levels of rainfall and dry spells. Combined with fertile soils rich in organic matter and weathered olivine basalt, the area provides ideal growing conditions to the robust flavour of these cacao beans, she said.
Mrs Everitt said the cacao comes from the Moa Estate, a family run cacao plantation in the hills of northern Upolu owned by Nusi Moa Maualaivao. Mr Maualaivao is a trained soil scientist and agronomist who has been farming the Trinitario variety of cacao on his plantation for more than 10 years. He has applied his knowledge of soil science and traditional cacao maintenance and combined this with the most current methods of cacao fermentation and age old agricultural practices to come up with his unique high quality cacao beans. His practices include only harvesting pods from plants five years or older. The harvested cacao pods are rested for a week before being shelled then fermented for at least seven days. The beans are then sun dried. The whole process can take up to three weeks.
“…for something to taste this spectacular you have to allow time for nature and Nusi to do their work,” Mrs Everitt said. They were keen to source ingredients for the chocolate from Samoa to make a completely Samoan dark chocolate bar, she added.
The new range of Devonport Chocolate single origin Samoan Dark chocolate from 62%, 70% and 80% is plain dark chocolate, Fijian ginger and plum, cinnamon and vanilla.
Pacific Periscope was at Fine Foods New Zealand and taste tested the new dark chocolate, which was bitter and sweet all at once and definitely whet the appetite for the bars that are destined for retail around August.
For more information, please email Joe Fuavao, PT&I Trade Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.