We're certainly talking very fine, exclusive stuff here. The island of Sao Tome only produces 600 tonnes of organic and Fairtrade beans a year across 2,200 farmers. This is a minuscule amount compared to the cocoa-growing countries a relatively short hop East on the African mainland.
Many other chocolate makers, he feels are "shameless" and "full of shit". And that's what I love about Claudio - he's fanatical about chocolate and is far less interested in the gimmicky marketing tactics of the larger chocolate companies. He also has the same view point on cocoa varieties. He has stated "Good chocolate is not necessarily a problem of variety," he says. "It is a problem of work." And it’s that hard work that shows in abundance in this bar of 100% chocolate.
Admittedly the first bite may come across as overly bitter. But the second you'll noticeably relax and feel yourself relax and enjoy the experience. The natural sweetness of cocoa will come through, albeit very slowly. The length is understandably very long. But that's to this chocolate's credit. Please do savour. I know this chocolate is expensive. But Claudio uses the finest beans available on the island, pays a premium to the cocoa growers and employs a great number of local staff to help create this fantastic bar of 100% chocolate. We feel it’s worth it.
NB: the packaging is different to the one specified in the photo. These new 100% bars come in golden packaging to differentiate them from the "silver" packaging for the lower levels of cocoa.
|Best-before||End June 2016|
|Ingredients||Cocoa (that's it)|
|Produced-in||Sao Tome & Principe|