European chocolates will soon feature Philippine cacao
But here are five local chocolate brands you should try first
Nov 6, 2017
After the global recognition of ube, Anthony Bourdain’s love affair with sisig, and international publications calling Filipino food as the next big thing, Europeans are now taking interest in Davao’s cacaos.
A Belgian chocolate company and French premium chocolate manufacturer Valrhona have confirmed in an Inquirer report that they would buy 1,000 metric tons and five metric tons of cacao beans respectively for their chocolate production. With a total cacao production of 5,000 metric tons in the region last year, this welcome news is a much-needed boost to cacao farmers and the still-growing potential of Davao-grown cacao.
Thankfully, there’s no need to wait for these exciting chocolate fusions to come around. These Philippine chocolate brands have been using Davao cacao in their products—and doing it particularly well at that, too.
With a bronze from the 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards and a silver from the 2015 World Drinking Chocolate Competition, Malagos is one of the most popular local chocolate makers today. Grown and processed in the foothill of Mt. Talomo, Malagos uses Trinitario beans, one of the finest cacao varieties.
This is every health-conscious chocolate lover’s dream. Freefood’s chocolates are sweetened with low-glycemic organic coconut sugar and virgin coconut oil. They also offer dark chocolate with 65 percent cacao as well as classic milk chocolates. If your palate prefers something more adventurous, you can go with their game-changing chili-infused dark chocolate.
Theo and Philo is born out of founder Philo Chua’s love and curiosity for chocolates. In 2007, Chua left his job as a web developer abroad to make single-origin chocolates. You can still get the plain dark chocolates, but the brand is a standout because of its eccentric flavors like green mango, calamansi, turon, and even adobo.
Advocating sustainability, Hiraya takes pride in their relationship with their cacao farmers. Currently, Hiraya uses Trinitario from Malabog in Davao. However, you can expect them to use other cacao beans as they are always looking for cacao farmers from other regions as well.
Based in La Union, Tigre y Oliva uses numerous varieties of cacao from Davao. Owner Simone Mastrota tries to keep the chocolate as pure as possible with sugar as its only additive. Everything that goes in each bar of chocolate is local, but the wrapper Mastrota uses is sourced from Italy. Their recent collaboration with Cibo also proved that chocolates are versatile—imagine rosemary and chili pepper chocolates.
If you’re not a big fan of chocolate bars, there are other ways to enjoy this heaven-sent produce. Wit’s Sweets and Savories allows you to munch on granola made with cacao nibs combined with other ingredients like ginger and green mango.
Header image courtesy of Pixabay
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