Welcome to our February Collection. We’ve chosen four bars which represent a mix of new and established makers in our Chocolate Library.
NADALINA ECUADOR DARK MILK
Bean Origin: Ecuador Cocoa Content: 55%
First we want to introduce a new maker from Croatia, Nadalina. While we’ve met many bean-to-bar chocolate makers, Nadalina is the first to describe itself as a bean-to-music maker. Founder Marinko Biški was previously the lead singer of a Croatian punk band.
A silky melt reveals notes brownie and cream in this dark milk. The smooth bar blends earth hints of fresh cut grass with higher floral notes. Lightly toasted hazelnuts and almonds come through on the finish.
Whilst we know many people who would describe themselves as “bean-to-bar” chocolate makers, Nadalina, crafting its chocolate in Split, Croatia, is a self-proclaimed “bean-to-music” chocolate maker. The man behind Nadalina is Marinko Biški, a creative chocolate maker and former lead singer of Split’s first punk band, Fon Biskich & Narodno Blago. Nadalina loves to experiment; it has made a working chocolate record and broken the world record for the largest chocolate square.
INNATO JAEN PERU
Bean Origin: Peru Cocoa Content: 72%
Next is a bar from Peruvian maker Innato. Innato was founded by one of the country’s largest cacao and coffee companies, who wanted to try something different and show the world the best of Peruvian cacao.
The intense dark has a light aroma with suggestive hints of spice and grass. With a marmalade quality, notes of citrus warm the palate before dissolving into a nutty, spicy finish. The unusual texture quickly releases waves of flavour.
Innato worked with a cooperative of farmers from city of Jaén in the region of Catamarea to source the cocoa for this bar. Jaén is in the north west of Peru where the mountainous terrain, warm weather, and frequent rain make for a luscious climate in which fine cacao can be grown. The texture is typical of Peruvian bars; whereas European makers often add cacao butter to create a smooth texture, Peruvian and Latin American makers prefer to keep things simple.
AMARO SAO TOME
Bean Origin: São Tomé Cocoa Content: 70%
Then we travel half way across the world to Italy, where Marco Colzani of Amaro has crafted a dark bar using beans from São Tomé in the Gulf or Guinea.
A sleek and subtle dark bar. A smooth and creamy texture reveals hints of smoke and tobacco with a more indulgent chocolate note mixed in. The thin bar enables a quick and silky melt, coating the mouth with layers of flavour.
Amaro is the brain child of Italian oenologist, coffee roaster and all-round gastronome Marco Colzani. Marco spent his childhood playing in his family’s bakery and pastry shop (or ‘pasticceria’ in Italian) just outside of Milan. After studying agriculture and viticulture he worked as a wine producer for a number of years. His journey to craft chocolate maker brings together the skills, experience and passion of his youth along with his later education and career in wine.
TOSIER ACUL DU NORD
Bean Origin: Haiti Cocoa Content: 70%
Finally we return to Suffolk in the UK, where Deanna Tilston of Tosier crafts her bars. Deanna crafts everything in micro batches – this means that Deanna is able to keep a close eye (and personally taste) every single one.
This dark has a profile that mixes rich cacao with bright fruits and floral perfumes. A touch of honeyed figs comes together with sharp cherries and red currants. Finally sweet high notes of rose sweep through the fruit.
Tosier crafts its chocolate in eight kilogram micro batches, which means that a limited number of bars are produced from each harvest. Producing these micro batches enables founder Deanna to keep a close eye on every step of the chocolate-making process. The cacao beans are sourced from the PISA co-operative in Acul Du Nord, Haiti, via Uncommon Cacao. Working with Uncommon Cacao means Tosier can guarantee the cacao has been transparently and fairly traded.
This collection can be bought as our Box Of The Month gift box for the special price of £24.95 while stocks last, until late March 2019.