Without a foodie background, just a love for dark chocolate and all its health benefits, Tosier chocolate maker is the denouement of Deanna Tilston setting out on a personal journey to learn about and craft her own chocolate. What started out as a self-nourishing endeavour has ultimately ended up as becoming an award-winning chocolate maker. It seems that every element of Tosier chocolate elicits reverence for cacao and chocolate, from sourcing its raw beans to the reason behind the name: ‘Tosier’ dates back to the 18th century with a man named Thomas Tosier having the privilege of being George I’s personal chocolate maker.
Tosier crafts its chocolate in eight kilogram micro batches, which means that a limited number of bars are produced from each harvest; however, producing batches on this sort of scale means Deanna is able to keep a very close eye on every step of the chocolate-making process. It also means that as limited quantities of cacao from each harvest is purchased, no single batch of chocolate Deanna makes will ever be the same. That is the beauty of craft chocolate.
Working with Uncommon Cacao to source its cacao beans means Tosier can guarantee the cacao has been transparently traded and involves only sustainable and enriching cocoa-farming methods. Deanna is also able to see the biodiversity of the cacao that she buys, that is, what grows amongst it, be it bananas, avocados, citrus fruits.
For this Caribbean chocolate, the cacao beans are sourced from the PISA co-operative in Acul Du Nord, Haiti. Haiti, occupying the Western three eighths, shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola was the only island visited by Columbus during his four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, and the first land of permanent European settlement in the Americas. The supply and production of cocoa rapidly surged in the late 17th century, when the French began setting up their own plantations in Haiti. In 2014, in wanting to radically change the way cacao was being processed and exported from Haiti, with large export companies buying low quality cacao from smallholder farmers at prices below the commodity market, PISA co-operative committed itself to purchasing and centrally fermenting wet cacao bought direct from the farmers. PISA encourages sustainable and high quality farming methods, which in turn earns the cocoa farmers around four-times as much as they did.
When tasting this chocolate, expect a flavour profile that is rich in cocoa, delicately drawing together bright fruity and soft floral notes: figs, tart cherries, red berries, and rose.