So close we can almost touch it!
You are all so amazing! A few days ago we weren't sure we were going to be able to raise $4000 in just a week but you all pulled through and got it in only a few days. We are so close to the finish line that we can nearly touch it which is amazing feeling, but please don't stop spreading the word now! We still need those last few hundred dollars and it won't hurt if we go beyond our goal. If we raise more than our budget we will plan to bring back bars of finished chocolate to the cacao growers, closing the loop so they can see what the chocolate made from their beans taste like, and how their growing practices affect the final chocolate.
We will also get them a conch, a special piece of equipment made to blend and grind chocolate to a super smooth consistency while developing the flavor of the chocolate through the Maillard reaction that is a bit like caramelization but for proteins. Chocolate is normally mixed in a conch for 1-3 days and is essential to fine chocolate making. When we toured the CASFA chocolate plant in Chiapas, though they had a lot of excellent and large scale equipment, the director there said they really wished they had a conch so they could make fine chocolate just as the chocolate that European manufacturers make from their cacao. If we can raise a couple thousand dollars extra beyond our goal, we would be able to get the CASFA Maya organic cacao coop a large enough conch to be able to grind their own chocolate bars for export as well as extra barrel fermenters to equip more of their fermentation centers. This effort beyond the organic certification assistance, one barrel fermenter, and supporting their cause by buying 1000 lbs of cacao beans from them would truly make Xoconusco, Mexico a world center for cacao and chocolate!
So please continue to post this on twitter, facebook, google+, and email it to all your friends through the next few days till the end of the campaign and we can exceed even the dreams of cacao farmers like Don Isidro, Don Raul, and Don Jaime whose ancestors brought us the food of the gods, chocolate!
Today's three(!) videos show the process of fermentation and conching that are so important to the development of great gourmet chocolate that we are trying to promote. Please share these with all your friends so there can be more excellent chocolate makers in the world! Hmm, a plan for world peace if everyone could make chocolate....?
This first video shows that the Chiapas cacao farmers like Don Jaime know how central good fermentation is to good chocolate, with a sign right on his barrel fermenter:
Here is a short video describing the difference between the "Lavado" or washed cacao beans have only been fermented a couple days and are used for drinking chocolate, mainly in Mexico, and the "Fermentado" or fermented cacao beans that have been fermented for 4 or more days and are used in finer eating chocolate that is often exported. There is a longer video explaining these different beans on our Madre Chocolate YouTube channel if you want to learn more about selecting cacao beans and knowing when they're properly fermented.
Finally you can see how smooth and luscious chocolate gets after having been in a conch for 2-3 days. This is the type of machine we would get for the CASFA cacao coop if we get money beyond our $15K goal, and it would allow them to produce their own world class chocolate. All this from a little bitter seed from South America, bred in Mesoamerica!
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50 backers Limited (10 left of 60)
A bar of stone ground, organic dark chocolate crafted from aromatic cacao beans grown by a coop of small farmers in Chiapas, Mexico.Estimated delivery:
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50 backers Limited (10 left of 60)
A bar of our organic, Chiapas dark chocolate plus a bar made with these aromatic cacao beans and traditional Mayan chocolate ingredients such as chili, allspice, rosita de cacao, orijuelas, or sapayul.Estimated delivery:
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24 backers Limited (36 left of 60)
One of our new beta flavors (well before the rest of the public has a chance to taste it)! Plus a bar of our organic, Chiapas dark chocolate and a bar made with these aromatic cacao beans and traditional Mayan chocolate ingredients such as chili, allspice, rosita de cacao, orijuelas, or sapayul.Estimated delivery:
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37 backers Limited (8 left of 45)
A one-of-a-kind jaguar cacao chocolate (made with patashte, the sister plant of cacao). Plus a bar each of organic, Chiapas dark chocolate, a chocolate with a traditional Mayan ingredient, and one of our new beta flavors (well before the rest of the public has a chance to taste it)!
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We will create a delicious bar to your specifications, either dark, milk, or flavored with your favorite ingredient, and send you 5 of these personalized bars.
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We'll bring you into our chocolate shop in Hawaii for a day to learn how to make chocolate. If you can't make it to Hawaii, we'll send you an entire chocolate-making class kit complete with all the ingredients, chocolate tasting samples, and clear recipes. Plus we'll send you all of the rewards listed above!
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We will send you all the above special and personalized chocolate bars, and we'lll invite you to accompany us to southern Mexico or Central America on one of our cacao explorations to see first hand where chocolate was invented, and learn how the ancient and modern Mesoamericans make their delicious chocolate drinks and foods with beautiful aromatic flowers and spices (airline tickets not included).
- (60 days)