In celebration of World Chocolate Day on July 7.
The Dominican Republic is well-known for exporting goods like rum, bananas and coffee. But did you know that chocolate giants Lindt, Guylan, Valrhona and Nestle all use Dominican cocoa in their products?
In 2015, Dominican exported cacao brought in US $261 million, ensuring the country’s spot as one of the leading exporters of organic products in the world.
Some international chocolate brands are now choosing to partner with small farms in the Caribbean so they can experiment with the whole process of making chocolate, bean to bar. They want to create new flavour sensations and tinker with methods to discover new ways of making great chocolate.
Apparently, when the cacao plant is grown in the shade of other plants, the beans take on hints of the fruits around it. It’s a natural way to experiment with flavours. As you can imagine, it’s popular with the organic, pesticide- and fertiliser-free market.
Chocolatiers are keen to control how the cocoa beans are processed at small-scale farms. The rate at which the beans are oxidised and fermented affects the flavour profile of the final product.