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Ancient Mayan recipes +  Xoconusco cacao = one-of-a-kind chocolate.  Join chocolate-makers Nat & Dave for a delectable adventure.
Ancient Mayan recipes + Xoconusco cacao = one-of-a-kind chocolate. Join chocolate-makers Nat & Dave for a delectable adventure.
179 backers pledged $15,816 to help bring this project to life.

The last batch of chocolate bar rewards are out for an early Christmas

Hi all you wonderful backers! Hope the holidays and the remains of 2012 are treating you well!

After making it through the holiday chocolate production rush we have finally been able to produce the last batch of specialty traditional Mayan-flavored bars for the last 2 tiers of backer rewards, plus an extra special Hawaiian Triple Cacao we're throwing in as thanks for being so patient waiting for us to finish and send you the Xoconusco chocolate bars! We were perfecting our recipe for the Bu'pu inspired, plumeria-infused bars with flowers picked only at night at the height of their fragrance and figuring out just the right amount to add to the complex Xoconusco cacao to highlight and balance both the flavors of the plumeria and chocolate.

The extra Hawaiian Triple Cacao bar we're throwing in is a version of our award-winning bar with smooth rich dark chocolate, crunchy nutty nibs, and tangy chewy cacao pulp give you three tastes and textures all from the cacao plant, that's now garnered five awards: the Northwest Chocolate Festival Inclusions Silver medala Good Food Awards finalist, and the US Gold medal, World Silver Medal, and Americas Silver medal in the International Chocolate Awards inclusion category. This bar is a limited edition bar made with Hawaiian cacao instead of our more standard Dominican cacao, as hurricane Sandy, along with the other devastation it's wrought on the East Coast, has wiped out all the warehouses in New Jersey that were holding the entire US supply of Dominican cacao. To make lemonade out of lemons, or chocolate out of hurricanes, we decided to convert our bar to a Hawaiian cacao and use some of the proceeds from the sale of the bar to support victims of hurricane Sandy.

The last of these bars were mailed out yesterday so should all reach you before Christmas and you can share them with all your friends and family.

We thank you again for all of your incredible support for our kickstarter project and your patience with all of the lengthy processes of cacao harvesting, fermenting, drying, shipping from Mexico, roasting, winnowing, grinding, tempering, packaging and shipping to you. Enjoy your bars on their own, or paired with a nice glass of wine, coffee, whiskey, or tequila, some of our favorite chocolate pairings! We will continue to work on delicious and creative ways to bring you great chocolate with a mission that supports cacao growing communities around the world while reconnecting us all to the roots of chocolate. Have a great holiday and a happy new year!

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Last Shipments

We've been getting lots of questions about your reward shipments since some of you have gotten bars and some have not, so we wanted to update you. For the extra bars for the $60 and $100 tiers, we had to wait till some rare Mexican chocolate ingredients came into season in Hawaii which is just starting to happen this week.

Kristen, our stellar chocolatier, has been out picking gorgeous aromatic plumeria flowers for one of our traditional Mexican flavored bars, the Bu'pu. The right variety of frangipani/plumeria/flor de mayo/chac nicté/cacaloxochitl has to be picked at just the right time of day to recreate this amazing Oaxacan chocolate drink in a chocolate bar.

We've also been gathering the short-fruiting guanabana and jocote around Oahu for some of our beta bars going out to you. The jocote, a tiny Latin American-native mango relative, is only out for a few weeks each year at the perfect state of red juicy ripeness. Picked a few days too early, it's green and tannic, picked a few days too late and it's past, falling off the seed.

Once the Xoconusco chocolate is slowly and fully infused with the flowers' scent and fruit flavors, we will be turning these into bars to send out to you. Thanks again to you all for your patience!

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Chocolate Rewards Packaged and Ready To Go Out the Door!

Here it is, the bars are finally made and wrapped and about to go out in the mail. We thank you for being patient once again while we worked through having the Xoconusco coop farmers ferment the cacao to our specifications, getting the cacao to Hawaii, figuring out the best way to roast, winnow, grind & temper the chocolate, and finally mail it out to all of you, our backers, without it melting in the record temperatures in the US.

As many of you have said in the survey that your mailboxes would be too hot to receive chocolate even several months ago, we searched for an alternative way of mailing you the chocolate so it wouldn't arrive at your door as a puddle and we've finally found it. Shipping chocolate in the summer in a regular year is not easy, let alone in a year with record-setting scorching temperatures! So we found a box that is too big to fit in hot metal mailboxes where it is guaranteed to melt, and the delivery person will leave on your doorstep instead, in the shade. With this, mylar wrapping, and ice packs, the chocolate will get to you as a solid delicious edible piece rather than a puddle.

We're also including a surprise extra piece of chocolate for you taste to thank you for your patience and see what you think of some of our other chocolate. We look forward to seeing what you think of all of the chocolate that you have all helped so much to create!

We're planning to start leading tours of cacao & chocolate in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Hawaii that came out of the research for this project, so please let us know if you're interested, and tell us what exactly you would like in a tour by filling out this short survey.

Below are images of the Xoconusco chocolate being ground, tempered into bars, wrapped, and packaged up to go out to you.

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It's happening, the chocolate is being made!

It all seems like a dream, the cacao we all have been awaiting for so long from Chiapas is now firmly in our hands in Hawaii, and we're turning it 1 burlap bag full at a time into delicious chocolate bars that will be heading your way very soon. The first time we roast and grind a new cacao, we have to try out different styles, temperatures, timing, and ratios to coax out the most taste from each of the beans. This Mexican criollo cacao was no exception as we hadn't worked with these beans in over a year, but after careful roasting & grinding we were starting to get a beautiful deep fruity & chocolatey taste off this cacao that really made it shine and make us all in the shop want to keep trying more!

But we knew we had to leave enough of this chocolate to temper and turn into bars for all of you, and the first of these bars rolled out of the tempering machine just in the past few days to our and I'm sure your delight! We say this as if it all happened passively and the chocolate bars made themselves in some wonderful food-based Fantasia version of a chocolate factory as we know the process quite well now through which each bean must go through. But in fact there's been tons of hard work in terms of Isidro the cacao farmer in Xoconusco, everyone at the CASFA coop who got the cacao shipped to us, Dave who slogged through all the customs and FDA forms and figured out the perfect roasting curves for the cacao, Matt who roasted & winnowed the cacao to perfection, Joelle & Sam who got it all grinding with the proper mix, Kristen who tempered the bars, Miki who wrapped the bars and will start shipping them to you next week, and of course, the most important people to getting all this chocolate made is you who funded it all with all your intense chocophilia! So here are a few tantalizing pictures of the chocolate being roast, ground, & tempered into bars that will soon be on their way to you.

Again, if anything has changed with your address, please let us know at info aht madrechocolate punto com.

Xoconusco cacao being sorted and awaiting its test roast to find the perfect temperature curve

65 lbs of Chiapas cacao being ground to a beautiful silky smoothness in our stone grinder. Notice the light color of the 70% chocolate since many of the seeds in this heirloom criollo variety cacao are white instead of the standard deep purple or brown.

The first mid-grind chocolate tablets we made of the Xoconusco chocolate to see how they tasted after tempering (a heating & cooling process that gives chocolate it's shine, snap, and higher melting point)

The first full set of 150 Chiapas single origin bars awaiting hand foil wrapping & labeling, next stop a box to go in the mail to you!

Now that we've got enough of the Xoconusco 70% bars for all of you, next we'll start making the traditional flavored chocolate bars with jaguar cacao, orijuelas, plumeria (flor de mayo), and jocote. We've already made a few test jaguar cacao/patashte bars to check the texture a perfect blend of the chocolate and its sister species patashte. We're glad that you get to taste all this delicious experimentation. We look forward to hearing your comments on the final chocolate!

The Xoconusco has landed

Great news! Our cacao from Xoconusco, Chiapas, Mexico has finally arrived in Honolulu after 6 months of winding it's way slowly through Mexico City, customs holds in Texas, to Los Angeles, and finally landing in our laps to start making some traditional chocolate bars with this Royal Aztec heirloom Criollo cacao, especially for all of you our wonderful kickstarter supporters. Can't wait to open the sacks and inhale the sweet aroma!

We thank you again for sticking with us and the Chiapas cacao growers over the many months through the long process of learning how to import heirloom cacao from its origins in Mexico through many bureaucracies, and allow us to show the world how wonderful chocolate made as it was originally envisioned is!

Dried, fermented cacao comes to us in many large burlap sacks like these from the CASFA cacao coop

Dave was lucky enough to visit both Oaxaca and Chiapas recently and met with both the cacao grower Don Isidro from whom we are getting our cacao and the cacao coop CASFA where they had many great discussions on how to continue to improve the fine art of cacao fermentation to get the best flavor out of their heirloom beans, how to speed up shipping next time, and how to get the word out on the wonderful taste of cacao from the birthplace of chocolate in Central America.

Don Isidro showing off his beautiful plump Amelonado Criollo cacao from his orchard in the Huehuetan hills of Xoconusco

While in Oaxaca city, Dave stayed in the Huayapam district where the beautifully aromatic Rosita de Cacao or Cacahuaxochitl flowers lined the street and where most of the most skilled tejate chocolate drink makers in Oaxaca's Abastos market hail from. The tejate drink/foam he witnessed is a combination of these Rosita de Cacao flowers, cacao most likely from Chiapas, mamey sapote seeds, and a few more ingredients that are whipped into a wonderful froth with a molinillo.

A woman in the Huyapan market demonstrating her chocolate drink frothing skills with the molinillo stirring in a big bowl of tejate made with cacao, Rosita de Cacao, and pixtle or mamey sapote seeds.

Dave even met with folks a local Mezcaloteca where they had a vast variety of Mezcals made from agave of different species & regions that they paired with our chocolate, of which they liked the Rosita de Cacao bar the most. We hope to include this as a stop on our cacao & chocolate tour happening in October or January. Stay tuned to our classes page or fill out our short tour survey so we can make it the chocolate trip you have really dreamed of. If you have moved since our initial survey, please let us know your new address by email at info aht madrechocolate doht com.

This has been a huge week for us with the long-awaited arrival of the Chiapas cacao, starting the new KCC farmers market in Honolulu, our first cacao farm & chocolate factory tour on Oahu's windward coast, and we won best bean-to-bar chocolate in Hawaii at the Big Island Chocolate Festival as judged by "Mr. Chocolate" Jacques Torres and Hasty Torres of Madame Chocolat in LA.

We hope we can meet all of you individually in Hawaii or Mexico if you get a chance to visit, and thank you for your continued support of helping us all get back to the roots of chocolate. Big thanks to all of you who offered to go down to Laredo, TX to assist us in getting our cacao through the FDA and customs clearance. Sometimes it takes a village! Now it's down to the business of chocolate making: roasting, cracking, winnowing, grinding, tempering, molding, wrapping, and mailing bars to you as thanks for your backing.

The pairing of mezcal and our Xocolatl Mexican inspired chocolate bars was a hit and went late into the night!