Introducing Single Origin Chocolate!

 

 

Not unlike wine, mezcal, or coffee, chocolate tastes different depending on where it’s grown. The word terroir, used primarily in the world of wine, refers to the environment in which a crop is grown. Natural factors like soil, climate, harvest season and topography ultimately dictate the way a bottle of wine will taste. Of course, human impact, such as fermentation, processing, and aging will affect the final flavor outcome as well, but there is only so much a winemaker can do to change the natural flavor of the agricultural product after harvest.

This concept of terroir applies to chocolate as well! It was only in the last decade or so that people began to realize this, resulting in a boom of chocolate connoisseurs and craft makers who seek to highlight the natural flavors found in the “chocolate” plant, otherwise known as cacao. These flavors can range from chocolatey (yes, that is an official tasting note!) to things like caramel, sour lemon, soil or flowers.

What is Different About Our New Line? 

Often, chocolate makers add flavor neutralizing ingredients, like cocoa butter or vanilla, to mask some of the sharp or ‘non-chocolatey’ natural flavors of cacao. We add a variety of ingredients to our mainline products to create a consistently tasty and unique chocolate experience, mixed with ingredients intended to support your lifestyle. So, if we were to take out those extra ingredients, we’ll end up with a whole range of flavors found naturally, genetically intertwined, with the cacao beans we use. Understandably, the fewer ingredients used in the chocolate bar the more true cacao flavor you’ll taste. That being said, we only use two ingredients in our single origin line; cacao and sugar.

We hope to expand this line and offer even more origins in the future, but we’re too excited to share this with our community to wait any longer. We’re starting with a few simple tasting packs so you can experience this will us as we evolve. Keep in mind, these bars will taste much darker than the rest of our products and are meant to be eaten in small(ish) doses. Check them out!

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SINGLE ORIGIN PAIRING KIT

ORIGIN SAMPLER PACK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE ORIGINS

Region: Wampusirpi
Cacao Type: Trinatario
Harvest: 2016
Farm/Export Information: It takes two days by canoe to get to where the farmers of this cooperative grow their incredibly high-quality cacao. We have yet to visit this region for more information, but the care and attention put into their harvest is clear when we’re making chocolate using these beans.

Region: Duarte
Cacao Type: Hispanola – Trinatario
Harvest: 2017
Farm/Export Information: Not only does Zorzal Cacao grow high-quality cacao that equates to delicious tasting chocolate, they’re also proving that mission-based business can thrive. Over 80% of the land owned by Zorzal has been left untouched in order to provide a sanctuary for an endangered migratory bird called Bicknell’s Thrush, or locally Zorzal de Bicknell. We <3 Zorzal Cacao a whole lot.

Region: Toledo
Cacao Type: Criollo/Trinatario
Harvest: 2017
Farm/Export Information: Maya Mountain Cacao works with over 300 farmers in the Southern Region of Belize and has become the largest cacao exporter in the entire country. Most of the farmers are Q’uechi or Mopan Maya, many of whom are living below poverty. Maya Mountain Cacao has successfully increased local wages by 20%.

Region: Tumbes, Peru
Cacao Type: Criollo (native genetic varietal)
Harvest: 2015/2016
Farm/Export Information: Norandino Cooperative is quite large. They work with about 500 different farms and export cacao, coffee & sugar. They also have a carbon credit program available to their customers.

Region: Laguna Lachua, National Park in the Alta Verapaz District
Cacao Type: Trinitario, upper Amazon Forasteros, Amelonados & some Nacional
Harvest: 2017
Farm Type: 
This origin is unique in that most of these farmers are living almost entirely off the grid around a protected lake, Laguna Lachua. Primarily Q’uechi’ Mayan, the producers receive technical and market support from the regional export company, Cacao Verapaz.

Information regarding each origin was either collected by John Nanci, otherwise known as the Chocolate Alchemist, or our staff. Please contact us with any questions! 

Adventures in Wild and Local Chocolate

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  Bay Nuts, Local Organic Goji’s, Elderberries

The FLOW in FLOW Foods stands for Fair, Local, Organic and Wild

We’ve been making chocolate for several years now. We use the best and purest Organic and Fair Trade ingredients, and the highest quality, most potent superfoods from around the world, like Maca Root and Reishi Mushrooms. 

Today, I’m reconnecting with the Local and Wild aspect of FLOW Foods by combining some interesting locally harvested and wild foods with our chocolate. I’ve crafted some special blends that go beyond the edges of our normal chocolate by foraging a little closer to home.

We made a small batch of chocolates that are blended with Local and Wild superfoods:

Elderberries, Bay Nuts, Passionfruit and Goji Berries. (Find them here)

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We made an extra special blend of 50/50 Raw and Roasted chocolate, stone-ground with cane juice crystals as the base for these California Native Chocolates. We made a micro-batch, Get them here

Bay Nut and Elderberry. What are Bay Nuts? Bay nuts come from the California Bay Laurel Tree, and after proper harvesting, processing, and roasting, they make a unique nut that contains lauric acid and stimulant properties similar to coffee.

This past Spring I was at Acorn Gathering in Santa Barbara (practicing primitive arts and skills). I had the honor of re-connecting with an amazing teacher of mine, Tamara Wilder, who first taught me fire by hand drill at OAEC back in 2002. I scored some bay nuts from her, she and talked me through the  roasting process, which took me a couple of tries, but they came out perfect. (I would have made a bigger batch, but I ate half my cache)

I was also able to get some blue elderberries, which come from the Blue Elder Tree, a widely known and used folk remedy for colds and flu’s, and have a high antioxidant level. You can find out more here and here.

Goji and Chili. My family and I harvested Organic Goji Berries from Wild Willow Farms in San Diego a couple of months back. We combined these with some spicy chilis and coconut sugar to make a delicious local blend of a tasty caramel-like spicy goji. Here’s a video of our ‘fair trade’ goji-pickers.

Passionfruit. Passion fruit is GOING OFF here in San Diego. When I lived in Hawaii, I would overdose on what we called Lilikoi there, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Passionfruit is delicious, prolific, easy to grow, and an amazing superfood! They are high in vitamin C, minerals and fiber. They’re tangy and sweet, and the seeds are crunchy and super. Mmm, delicious.

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Tangy, crunchy, passion. What more can I say? Get them here.
In addition to creating interesting chocolate, we want to keep the knowledge of native plants and Wild Food alive. The more love and connection that we can cultivate with the natural world and our wild ecosystems, the more we will protect what we love. So, naturally, all sales of this Limited Edition Chocolate will go to teaching kids and adults about nature and wild food from our local nature connection school, Earthroots.

If you want a pack or two, get them here.

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