Guatemala was once a hub of chocolate production in the Americas. To say that the Mayans revered it is an understatement. The cacao bean was so important to them that it was used for trade, and even as currency. Ferdinand, the son of Christopher Columbus, mistook the cacao bean for an almond but wrote of its value to the people nonetheless: “They seemed to hold these almonds at a great price; for when they were brought on board the ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen.” Unfortunately, after the Spanish arrival in Central and South America, cacao production was moved to Venezuela, and Guatemala reverted to growing sugar. Recently however, there has been a renaissance of chocolate in Guatemala. Farmers have once again started growing some of the finest cacao in the world.
Out of the fields of northeastern Guatemala comes Fresco Chocolate’s Polochic Valley 70% bar. With a dark roast and a long conche, it is both strong and subdued, and each flavor flows gracefully into the next. It starts with a strong flavor of dark chocolate and a hint of mocha, which gradually fades into a fruity aftertaste as the chocolate melts on your tongue. If you like dark chocolate but dislike the strong, bitter taste that sometimes accompanies it, this is definitely the bar for you.
Fresco invites you to experience the flavors of the Polochic Valley, where this chocolate’s cacao beans were harvested. In 2016, the cacao beans harvested in this valley were exported outside of Guatemala for the first time ever. Fresco takes full advantage of this delicious product. Using its method of varied roasting and conche times, it extracts no fewer than 4 different bars, each a unique experience, from this world-class cacao bean. I highly recommend you give it a try.