This bar has hardly any acidity but still has a very clean taste, with a hint of spice. The melt is slow and satisfying. And flavour notes of buttered toast, black tea and green olives come through
ABOUT THE MAKER
When Dan and Jael Rattigan met at a wedding in 2003, the path to creating French Broad Chocolate was not on either of their minds. But after dropping out of graduate school, packing their lives into a 40-foot vegetable oil-powered school bus (converted by Dan), and moving south to Costa Rica to set up a Bread and Chocolate Cafe (no really!), they decided to return to North Carolina to pursue the chocolate dream. The business began out of their home kitchen, but demand quickly grew and in 2012, Dan and Jael opened French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room.
Gifford, an ex-Peace Corps expatriate, and José Enrique, a native Nicaraguan cacao agronomist, live with their families in the fertile Matagalpa region of Northern Nicaragua, where old Criollo and Trinitario cacao varietals have been cultivated for generations. On 29th February 2012, these two cocoa enthusiasts founded Cacao Bisiesto – celebrating the date with the use of “Bisiesto”, Spanish for ‘leap year’.
In 2013, Dan and Jael describe themselves as being “blessed with a direct connection from a mutual coffee contact to Giff Laube, who formed Cacao Bisiesto with his partner, José Enrique Herrera”. They immediately grasped the unique tack they were taking in Matagalpa, Nicaragua with Cacao Bisesto. Giff and José are attempting to protect heirloom varieties on the brink of extinction. They both grow their own cacao and cure the harvests of surrounding farmers, providing a much higher value than the farmers could previously expect. Moreover they understood that excellent cacao stock only takes you so far. Both fermentation and drying critically affect the quality and flavour of the beans, and the resulting chocolate, so Cacao Bisiesto has put huge attention and training into fermentation and drying.