When chocolate arrives to you via the shelf of the local store, it is sadly disconnected from its origins in southern Mexico and Central America. We aim to change that experience while supporting the farmers and communities that have given the world the great gift of chocolate. Help us make a direct purchase of cacao from an organic cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico, and we'll craft an edible history that will connect you to the roots of chocolate! Read on and we'll give you a break down of the who, why and how.
Why are we so excited about ancient chocolate recipes? The culinary feats of the Maya were extraordinary; they transformed bitter cacao beans into frothy chocolate beverages seasoned with a dizzying array of aromatic herbs and spices. Tragically, the plants paired so exquisitely with chocolate by the Maya and other Mesoamerican civilizations have fallen into disuse. But all is not lost - this treasure awaits us in the heady, maple scent of the rosita de cacao, the intriguing peppery spice of the orijuela flower, and the delicate nuttiness of the jaguar cacao! We're excited to share these delicious flavors with the world and help revitalize interest in their continued use and conservation.
How will we ethically source the cacao and other ingredients to make our historical chocolate? We've arranged to purchase a select lot of aromatic cacao directly from traditional growers in the Xoconusco region of Chiapas, southern Mexico. The cacao grown on these small farms has been hand-selected for generations, as documented by early Spanish accounts and archaeological evidence dating from many centuries earlier. The farmers maintain unique, traditional growing conditions of high ecological diversity. As for the other ingredients, our far-flung web of cacao enthusiast comrades have combed Mexico and Central America to identify sustainable sources, allowing us to purchase these treasured plants from rural communities and support the people that are keeping ancient chocolate practices alive.
Who will make the chocolate? Nat & Dave. We'll oversee the initial cacao processing at a small shop in Chiapas owned by the farmers coop and finish crafting the batch in our kitchen in Hawaii. Once the cacao arrives at our shop, we'll stone-grind the chocolate to silky perfection and blend in the traditional ingredients using recipes we've developed through exhaustive research and taste testing. Bars will be hand-wrapped, shared with partners (the growers and you!) and then sold at our online shop and at the fine chocolate shops on both coasts that already carry our bars.
How will your donations make this project happen? We've already done the legwork. Your contributions will be used to pay fair prices to growers and transport the cacao and spices from Chiapas to our small shop on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. A portion will also be destined for equipment improvements to help us efficiently process the lot with the utmost attention to quality.
We're offering a range of rewards including limited edition chocolate bars made from this special lot of Chiapas cacao and rare Mayan ingredients like jaguar cacao, rosita de cacao, and orijuelas. Support our project and you'll taste how chocolate was prepared by the Maya! Make a large contribution and we'll design a custom chocolate bar according to your whims. At the top levels, we will throw chocolate tasting and making parties for the people who give, so they can learn about and taste all the great and diverse flavors of chocolate over the centuries of its use.
Our website http://madrechocolate.com provides more info on our social mission to bring chocolate back to its roots, including links to recent articles in the Honolulu Weekly and Honolulu Magazine about our recent efforts.
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