Here I have two chocolate bars produced by a new-to-me maker in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, which goes by the name Beach Chocolate - and is exactly the type of chocolate maker we'd love to support more. Henrik picks the cacao himself and then works on the seeds to make his own organic chocolate, as well as using it as a way to teach people about how to make chocolate, the importance of the nation's biodiversity and the cultural importance of cacao to Costa Rican communities.
I've just got to jump straight into the chocolate at this point as this is fantastic. The first I tried was the Celeste. It's a high Criollo genetic Trinitario and has made chocolate that smacks of Javan fire-dried cocoa. But subsequent experiences are heavy on the molasses and leather from a distance. I simply love it. The melt takes ages and delivers its flavour payload for minutes after this melt has finished. There is just so much going on in this bar that some bites will give you spice, others plum, others under-ripe banana. This is just simply outstanding!
Now I'm getting caramel sauce.
The next is a Tenorio, which apparently in Spanish is 'Lady Killer'. But I'm not thinking of that. It just washes over me like a Bajan cocktail. There are heaps of soft fruits, nibs, banana and I have no idea what. It may be a blend of Trinitario but it is remarkably different than much of the large scale chocolate makers I have tried.
It also comes in three discs rather than traditional bar form and is fantastic.
This is company I'm seriously going to have to look at stocking.