76% | $ 280 USD
|Appellation||Piedra de Plata|
|Ingredients||Cacao beans, cane sugar|
|Release date||September 2018|
|Fermentation||4 days in Spanish Elm|
NOSE: Faintly floral with green grass and hints of fresh eucalyptus.
PALATE: Pistachio, orange bitters, and buttery chocolate on the opening, acidic red fruits (cranberry, redcurrant) on the mid-palate, transitioning to black cherry, dried plums, and hints of espresso on the back-end.
FINISH: Fresh oak and subtle notes of toffee and honey.
At To’ak, the French term “terroir” is not just a concept, it’s the guiding principle of our entire production process. We consciously make our chocolate to express the land and weather idiosyncrasies of each specific year. As tree-to-bar chocolate makers, we draw heavily from the techniques and tradition of both winemakers and whisky distilleries.
Similar to wine, the flavor characteristics of dark chocolate vary according to the soil and climate in which the cacao was grown. At To’ak, the French term “terroir” is not just a concept, it’s the guiding principle of our entire production process. We consciously make our chocolate to express the land and weather idiosyncrasies of each specific year.
Over 95% of the world’s chocolate is produced from low-grade “bulk” cacao. These cacao trees are often grown in factory-farm monocultures and are fed a steady diet of irrigation and chemical fertilizers, which produces a uniform crop of cacao from year to year. In stark contrast, the small-scale family farms in Piedra de Plata are scattered in the wooded hillsides, where cacao trees are grown alongside a medley of tropical fruit trees and native hardwoods–a true polyculture.
To make matters more complex, cacao growers in Piedra de Plata practice “dry farming,” as it is known in the wine world. In other words, they do not irrigate their cacao. Their trees are dependent on the whims of rain and sun. As a result, the flavor and aroma properties of cacao beans from Piedra de Plata are strongly influenced by the unique soil and climate conditions of this particular valley, and significantly vary from year to year.
After the tumultuous cacao growing season of 2016, the hillsides of Piedra de Plata enjoyed a year of relative calm and fair weather. In fact, the cacao we harvested in 2017 was the beneficiary of the most consistent rains and sun exposure of all cacao we’ve harvested in the last four years. Yields were not overly abundant, but the cacao fruit was ripe and healthy.
Our 2017 harvest lent itself to an approachable and well-balanced edition of To’ak Chocolate, subtly hitting on all of the signature flavor notes (fruit, flowers, nutty and woody) associated with Nacional cacao from the valley of Piedra de Plata.
OUR TOP PAIRING RECOMMENDATIONS
Dark chocolate, when tasted on its own, offers a fascinating ride of sensory impressions. Pairing dark chocolate with certain wines and spirits or cheeses can offer yet another level of pleasure and complexity to the experience. In the best of cases, a perfect pairing can elevate dark chocolate onto a higher realm altogether.