Duality Blend | 77% | $ 685 USD
|Appellation||Piedra de Plata|
|Ingredients||Cacao beans, cane sugar|
|Release date||August 15th, 2018|
|Fermentation||4 & 5 days in Spanish Elm|
|Conch||9 & 23.5 hours|
ON THE NOSE: Tobacco, caramel, floral, woody.
ON THE PALATE: Woody, buttery caramel, tobacco, honey, dark fruits, softly floral, earthy, nutty.
FINISH: Honey, toffee, earthy, nutty.
I N C L U DE S
• Duality Blend chocolate bar, matured 3 years (50 grams)
• Limited edition print by Guayasamín
• Certificate of authenticity from Fundación Guayasamín
• Handcrafted Spanish Elm wood box which converts into a display of the art piece
• Raw cacao bean from one of the last remaining DNA-tested pure Nacional heirloom cacao trees
• Special edition copper engraved tasting plate and Ecuadorian bamboo tasting utensil
• 60 page booklet about To'ak, chocolate tasting, and the Art Series project
Ecuador’s native son, Oswaldo Guayasamín, is one of Latin America’s most celebrated artists. His work has been on display in many of the finest museums and galleries in the world. In 1976, Guayasamín and his children created the Fundación Guayasamín with the mission to honor Ecuador’s rich indigenous culture and history. In service of this mission, To’ak Chocolate and Fundación Guayasamín co-created a special edition of dark chocolate that pays tribute to the ancient history and culture of Ecuador in a way that has never been done before.
Art is part of our DNA. At To’ak, we’ve never been satisfied with simply making chocolate. Ultimately what we present to the world is a work of art, and dark chocolate is merely our medium of expression. As artists who live and work in Ecuador, we are keenly aware of Guayasamín’s legacy. One element that has particularly drawn our attention is his depiction of sharp contrasts. Guayasamín painted about cruelty as well as tenderness, life and death, desperation and hope. He explored both the light and the darkness within the human condition.
With each edition of chocolate, our goal is to faithfully express the unique aromas and flavor profile of Nacional cacao. But just as a person cannot be defined by any single characteristic or mood, Nacional cacao has many different faces. In 2015, we launched two expressions of chocolate, each representing different ends of the spectrum in terms of flavor profile and character. Our 2015 “Light” edition was soft, subtle, nuanced. Our 2015 “Dark” edition was raw, powerful, unapologetic, naked.
We released both of these editions to the public in 2015, but separately. We allowed people the opportunity to experience both sides of the Nacional flavor personality but only side-by-side. For the Art Series, we created our very first blend, using chocolate aged from our 2015 harvest. We integrated our “Light” and “Dark” editions into a single unified expression, which we call the Duality Blend. This metaphor extends beyond flavor and can also been interpreted in the context of our work on the land. In the drawing by Guayasamín that accompanies this edition, we see an indigenous man that has been beaten down by cruelty, and yet he is also planting a tree. In spite of the suffering that he bears, what he offers is an expression of hope.
Something similar can be seen in the destruction of habitat and the loss of ancient food varieties. Over 93% of the world's food varieties have been lost over an 80-year span. Next in line is Ancient Nacional cacao in Ecuador, which is on the brink of extinction. Under the shadow of destruction, we at To'ak are currently planting as many Ancient Nacional cacao seedlings as we can, to give new life to this culinary treasure. This is our hope for the future.
To metaphorically describe his connection to the past, Guayasamín once said that his hands have been painting for more than five thousand years. Interestingly, Nacional cacao also traces its roots back by roughly 5,000 years in Ecuador. In this rare edition of chocolate, we are celebrating that which is far older than any of us and transcends time. We are celebrating the human experience, in all of its many shades.