Making chocolate from bean-to-bar, what does it mean?
When chocolate is made from bean-to-bar it means that every step of making chocolate is done by the chocolate maker. We receive dried, fermented cacao beans from very select organic and ethically harvested cacao from growers around the world. As each plantation presents a unique "terroir”, Petite Patrie always strives to remain true to the flavour from each single origin chocolate we offer and as such, we only use two ingredients in our dark chocolate: organic cacao and organic cane sugar.
Does chocolate grow on trees?
Well almost! The Theobroma (which means ‘Food for the Gods’) is a tree native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. The cacao trees produce pods from which the cacao beans are extracted and turned into chocolate.
What's cacao farming like?
While cacao trees grow best in the shade of the rainforest canopy, many cacao farmers clear cut regions of the rainforest to grow sun-grown cacao trees which requires the application of a lot of pesticides.
Here at Petite Patrie Chocolate, we only source our cacao beans from farms growing their cacao trees in the shade of indigenous trees such as mahogany, cedar and teak and alongside valuable crops such as avocado, pineapple, coffee, bananas and papaya. This biodiversity within the organic cacao farm help fight off disease, provides a sanctuary for wildlife and because farm workers don’t spray with pesticides, the workers themselves benefit from a healthy work environment.
This means that you can do your part to save the rainforest by eating shade-grown organic chocolate.
Isn't all cacao alike?
Most definitely not! There is the noble Criollo (pronounced cri-o-yo), the common Forastero, and a hybrid between the two, the Trinitario. Criollo and Trinitario are often referred to as fine or flavour cocoa beans, while Forastero is considered the ordinary or bulk bean for mass production. Over 90% percent of the world's cocoa is bulk production, mostly from the Forastero bean. At Petite Patrie, we don't process Forastero beans or similar hybrids; all our cocoa is Criollo and Trinitario.