Experience Chocolate as Mexico Sees It: Gritty and Glorious
The most revolutionary ideas are usually really, really simple. When you discover them, you’re blown away by how truly incredible simplicity can be. Candy Bar Sydney tips its hat off to the wildly successful Massachusetts-based company Taza Chocolate. Wow. Taza just seems to do everything right from start to finish. We have no doubt that this organic, fair trade Mexican-inspired bean to bar operation is a pioneer in the craft chocolate industry, and we are so excited to be on board. Please, have a seat and let us get you really excited about Mexican stone ground chocolate.
The Ancient Aztec Art of Drinking Chocolate
Now, the first thing you should know is that chocolate was originally designed for drinking, and Mexicans tend to prefer their chocolate in liquid form. They grind their beans on a stone mill and add sugar and spices such as cinnamon and almonds, then they melt it into hot water and slurp it up leisurely.
Taza founder and CEO Alex Whitmore travelled all the way to Oaxaca to learn about the ancient Aztec tradition of stone ground chocolate from the Mexican masters themselves. He had a bit of trouble getting tight with the in-crowd though, because Mexican stone mill workers (molineros) are incredibly secretive with their hammer and chisel skills. He sweet-talked one into showing him the bare basics, and the rest was pure trial and error. Alex found the sweet spot when he combined his newfound stone mill skills with an earthy cacao bean blend from Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Belize.
Even Better Than Fair Trade
The next think you need to marvel about is Taza’s transparency and admirable moral standards. First, there are the cacao beans themselves, sourced directly from happy farmers in Central and South America. The farmers get paid really well by Taza for their top quality cacao beans. The beans are certified organic, better than fair trade, and full of flavour and intensity.
You might have heard of “bean to bar” chocolate manufacturing: not many companies do it, but Taza is a rare exception. Taza takes those beans and roasts them lightly, winnows them, grinds them, adds the fun stuff (organic cane sugar and spices), melts them down into chocolate, and packages them beautifully. The result is not smooth, creamy and predictable: it’s gritty, spicy and rustic. It’s also gluten and soy free. It’ll get tongues wagging and conversation flowing. The signature Taza product is not your typical rectangular chocolate bar, rather, it’s a breakable circular chocolate disc that comes in a great variety of flavours. Look out for salted almond, chipotle, cinnamon and coffee.
Aren’t Discs for Throwing?
Well, yes – throw these babies into a cup of hot milk or water, melt them down and fling liberally over your pralines or just toss each piece casually into your mouth, one after the other. Taza Chocolate is for eating or drinking as you please. Taza Chocolate fiends are known as Tazans, and there’s a bit of a cult following as Tazans zealously tweet their recipes under #madewithtaza. Create a spicy champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) with Chipotle Taza Mexican Chocolate or add a disc of 85% Super Dark Taza to your chocolate soufflé. You’ll be delighted to know that Taza Chocolate isn’t just for dessert time, too. You can make some really special savoury dishes extra rich and smoky with a Chipotle Chili Chocolate enhanced sauce or marinade. Try Oaxacan Mole Chicken or a macaroni and cheese like you’ve never experienced it before.