Dubai might not be the first place you look for an artisan chocolate factory. But if you were to look, you would discover Mirzam’s beautiful factory on Alserkal Avenue.
While the summer heat might not be ideal, Dubai is in a unique position between Europe and Asia. Today Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures, people’s and cuisines, all of which contribute something to the local flavour. And for centuries the Middle East was at the centre of the historic spice trade. Adventurous traders and sailors traveled the seas from China to the Mediterranean bringing with them the rarest spices and ingredients.
Mirzam flavours and origins are directly inspired by these maritime trade routes. Its single origin bars use cacao from plantations along the spice route. You can also see this seafaring heritage in the bar’s beautiful packaging. Designed in collaboration with local artists. The single-origin bars show sailing ships against the night sky – a reference to how sailors would navigate the seas.
If you are lucky enough to be in Dubai, you can visit Mirzam at its workshop. Not only can you buy bars, have a cup of its gourmet hot chocolate, you can also take a tour of the workshop. As the only bean-to-bar chocolate maker Mirzam are keen to open up their process to the world. So far the chocolate has proved incredibly successful. At one point, the company almost ran out of beans as its dark chocolate was an even bigger hit than expected.
Mirzam’s chocolate is not just about local flavours, sourcing from the spice route and stunning packaging. As with any good craft chocolate maker, it’s the cocoa beans that are really important. Chief Chocolate Officer Kathy explains that the farmers they work with grow less cacao, but have a strong focus on flavour. And to encourage its makers, Mirzam pays its farmers 6-7 times the cacao commodity price for their crops.
Mirzam launched in September 2016, but by its first Birthday it has already received 5 Awards from the Academy of Chocolate.