I’m normally a Cadbury Dairy Milk kind of girl. I like my chocolate cheap, in large quantities and preferably served up alongside a larger-than-average glass of wine.
This is chocolate as it is meant to be – rich, slightly sharp, but still with that melt-in-the-mouth quality. And eaten by the square, not the kilo.
But while this is a revelation to my Cadbury-accustomed palate, it seems Grenada has been in on the quality-cocoa game for years. The aptly-named Grenada Chocolate Company has supplied trendy London-based chocolatiers Rococo since 2002 (give or take the odd hurricane).
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Via Belgravia Magazine (Sorry we couldn’t find your site working).
I stand before a plethora of delights, trying to decide what to have amongst this cabinet of curiosities. Some of these chocolates are delightfully curious indeed, their flavours ranging from basil and lime to green tea combinations. I’m excited about these components working together within the realm of chocolate, and even more so by the sheer beauty of some of them. I find decision making difficult at the best of times, let alone when faced with such an aesthetically pleasing variety such as this. My eyes run over the various names and I finally settle on a ‘geranium cream.’
With the chocolate on my palm my feelings betray me to that cliché of a kid in a candy store, I take a bite and its floral cream filling exudes something unknown yet so very lovely. It is a taste akin to the Turkish Delight, and I find myself consumed in the act of consuming this small artefact. This could get dangerous, I want to try another one, and I will no doubt want to try a different flavour after that. They’ve got white chocolates that look exactly like new potatoes over there, adorned with crystallised mint leaves no less. I must return soon.
A SPECIAL cargo of chocolate arrived at Rococo Chocolates after a 6,000- mile, six-week sea voyage from Grenada to Chester.
The limited-edition dark chocolate bar has been introduced at the Rococo Chocolates concession at The Chester Grosvenor.
Rococo sources its cocoa from Grococo – a Fairtrade organic cocoa farm run as a joint venture between Rococo and the Grenada Chocolate Company.
Rococo founder Chantal Coady and Mott Green, founder of the Grenada Chocolate Company, gave a talk to shoppers in the Chester shop about the 26,000 bars of award-winning chocolate, weighing more than five tonnes.
The audience learned the story behind the chocolate’s transition from the cocoa bean harvest on a Caribbean farm to its transportation across the Atlantic.
Chantal said: “The profits from the sale of the limited edition bar will be put back to the support the radical organic cocoa co-operative in Grenada.” .
Rococo chocolate will be featuring in gourmet lunches and dinners held in the Michelin-starred restaurant Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor.
You can now order the Gru Rococo bar online where it is on special offer with free shipping if you buy 6.
Tags: Chester Grosvenor
The Fairtrade Foundation congratulates Mars as the first packs of Fairtrade certified MALTESERS® are now available in UK stores, following the Mars–Fairtrade agreement announced last September.“What sweet news for cocoa farmers in West Africa, and for chocolate lovers in the UK, that the UK’s 3rd largest chocolate brand, MALTESERS, are now Fairtrade certified.”, says Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation. “This gives a significant boost to smallholder farmers to build their organisations and invest in a brighter future.” The cocoa will come from cooperatives in West Africa, and this move will contribute in excess of US $1 million in annual Fairtrade Premium funds for cocoa farmers’ groups to invest in their farms, business organisations and communities.”
Over 110 million packs of MALTESERS are sold in the UK per year – over 5 billion Maltesers in total. Fairtrade works with around 100,000 cocoa farmers in the West African countries of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Chantal says “While welcoming the mass producers of chocolate to the concept of “fair trade” we find that most of the buying public have little understanding of how this works in reality. As with all certifying bodies, there is a lot of paperwork and the Fairtrade Foundation do not do their bit for free, it is a big investment for small ethical social entrepreneurs. You may be interested to read the other side of the argument: criticism for the Fairtrade Foundation. Even based on their own numbers, this has to be seen as little more than a token gesture at less than a penny per packet sold and less than a dollar per farmer per month.
Our joint venture Grococo works by reversing the normal terms of trade. Working with the local community to manufacture finished chocolate bars, they keep the added value where the beans are grown. Where cocoa growing has been a marginal activity on the island of Grenada, now there is a thriving micro economy based on organic cocoa. This has got to be an example of “best practice” to the world of cocoa growing and sustainability.
The intense, Marmite-like aroma should be an indication that this chocolate should be taken slowly. Not only is there that brutish nose that is so full of seaside salty acidity but there’s also an arid, out of this world sense which does offer rare flashes of fruitiness. This is a chocolate that provides a full sensory experience; from the deep, dark colour; to the most audacious of flavours and a mouth feel that is as exquisite beyond belief.
It’s difficult to explain how this chocolate melts. Of course it’s slowly. If I try it’s like a Magnum ice cream in stages. There’s a soft outer layer that has flavour in abundance and then a solid core waiting in return. But with this bar that soft, delicate, flavoursome exterior continually contracts until the displeasing moment arrives when it’s melted to nothing. At this point you could be tempted to break off another piece, but I wouldn’t. The flavours linger for a great deal after the melt has finished.
The reality of this chocolate, and 100% dark chocolate in general is that this is real chocolate. There’s no sugar, no vanilla and no compromises. For those willing to try extremely bitter dark chocolate and have sufficient will-power not to chew, you’ll be rewarded with a luscious experience.
Mott is the initial visionary behind the Grenada Chocolate Company. Originally a New Yorker, he first visited the island with his physician father as a curious and imaginative 15-year old boy. Accompanying his dad to the medical school that was located on the island, Green intently watched the pods on the lush cacao trees and eagerly learned about the rich and luscious chocolate that was produced from those pods. As Mott discovered that the plump cocoa beans grown and cultivated by skilled natives on the island were then shipped off to far away countries to be formed into chocolate bars that were distributed across the world, a dream began to sprout in the young boy’s mind. “Why couldn’t the chocolate be produced right there on the island?” he wondered. From that speculation, the sprout of a dream slowly began to take root and grow until it developed into the Grenada Chocolate Company.
Green’s dream of luscious, organic chocolate produced from bean to bar right on the island is still growing today. As the Grenada Chocolate Company grew into a nationally recognized maker of quality, organic chocolate, Green’s dream expanded to transporting the chocolate “carbon neutral” from the lush and tropical island in the West Indies to U.S and European markets. This dream also became a reality as Mott and the rest of the Grenada Chocolate Company teamed up with Fairtransport, a Dutch company dedicated to the sustainable transport of goods across the nation by means of wind power and sailing. The end result was this Gru Grococo bar which can be purchased from Rococo Chocolates.
Early in March 2012, Grenada’s world-renowned chocolate disembarked for the first time by sailboat across the Atlantic. From the shores of the lush rainforest and tropical island to European ports, the Tres Hombres, a 32-metre brigantine, transported the rich dark chocolate as the bars matured in the solar and wind-cooled holding area over the 6-week journey.
Gru Grococo is the world’s first chocolate created specifically for environmentalist. Actually, Gru Grococo was meant to be enjoyed by everybody, but it’s made in a way that will appeal to those who strive to live a green lifestyle.
Gru Grococo is a joint venture between UK-based chocolate maker Rococo and the Grenada Chocolate Company. The chocolate is made from cocoa harvested and processed in a solar-powered factory. The chocolate is then shipped to the UK in a wooden sailboat, where it retails for $18.74 a bar. That may sound steep, but the price of the chocolate is meant to reflect the actual cost of creating the eco-friendly Gru Grococo bar. Additionally, all of the profits from the bars go back to the chocolate makers themselves.
Email digest readers can see the film at http://www.youtube.com/embed/9DmfnlJkfMY
While the bulk of the region’s bean harvest is exported to Europe and the USA for processing into chocolate products, confectionery and cosmetics, a few islands have been quietly developing a reputation for high quality, single estate chocolate that is now sold both locally and in connoisseur outlets as far afield as New York, London, Paris and Stockholm. Grenada has led the way through the Grenada Chocolate Company, which was founded in 1999 by Mott Green as a small-scale co-operative devoted to producing a home-grown, home-made dark organic chocolate. The company now has over 150 acres of cacao farms plus a new factory outlet making bonbons filled with local nuts, fruits and spices. Last year its strong, dry 82% chocolate bar won a Silver Medal at the 2011 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London.
It’s no wonder that the Grenada Chocolate Company has won international acclaim — it’s delicious, fair, eco-friendly and passionate — an honest product amidst a market of refined Mars and Hershey bars.
Today, the partners own 150 acres of organic cocoa farms, a cocoa fermentry located one mile from their little factory, and an army of solar-electrically powered antique machines. (In the early 1900′s, quality had precedence over quantity in chocolate-making.) The company is a rarity among a monopolized world of mega “sweets” conglomerates, producing small batches of dark chocolate infused with raw organic sugar and whole organic vanilla beans grown biodynamically in Costa Rica.
“The original impetus and principle of our cooperative company is to revolutionize the cocoa-chocolate system that typically keeps cocoa production separate from chocolate-making and therefore takes advantage of cocoa farmers. We believe that the cocoa farmers should benefit as much as the chocolate-makers” — Grenada Chocolate Company.