A renowned chef on a documentary once said, “Even though I am particular about freshness and origin when it comes to vegetables and fish, I never thought about how chocolate was made from processed products.” How true this is. Even when people make chocolates for Valentine’s Day, it’s common to melt and re-solidify chocolate bars. The idea of buying chocolate fresh like any other ingredient has never occurred to many of us.
Recently, however, a new kind of new ecosystem is emerging that focuses on the regions that produce cacao, which is the raw material for chocolate, the particulars of the manufacturing method, and the philosophy of the producers and other people involved in the production process. Bean-to-bar chocolate is a perfect example of this. This refers to chocolate where the entire process—from the selection, procurement, roasting and grinding of cacao beans to the production of chocolate bars—is done in a single workshop.
The best way to enjoy the flavor of bean-to-bar chocolate is single-origin chocolate, that is, chocolate made from cacao beans from a single region instead of a blend of different regions’ beans.
Wrapped in washi paper and featuring a hanafuda (traditional Japanese playing card) motif, Ucayali 70% is a single-origin chocolate that went on sale on Sept. 4. This chocolate bar is made only from cacao beans from the Ucayali region of Peru and organic sugar. It gives off the crisp, rich aroma of cacao beans, much like single-origin specialty coffees have their own distinct aromas.
The official website describes it as having a “refreshing fruitiness and richness of chocolate,” a description that is right on the money. This exquisite chocolate affords a unique combination of sour, astringent and bitter tastes which derive from the roasted beans.
In Fukuoka, Ucayali 70% is available at Green Bean to Bar Chocolate. Green has a wide variety of other chocolates as well, including its original single-origin chocolate bar and milk chocolate made with roasted green tea from Ukiha (Fukuoka Pref.), which is only available at the Fukuoka store.
Product name: UCAYALI 70% ¥1,944
Green Bean to Bar Chocolate Fukuoka Shop
1F Tenjin Class, 1-19-22, Imaizumi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Now (Feb., 2018): https://www.fukuoka-now.com/en/food/green-bean-to-bar-chocolate/
Extra: If you’re interested, there’s a documentary about the world of chocolate, Amazon Prime Video that we recommend “The Taste of Nature: How to Make the World’s Best Chocolate”