August 26, 2009

Growing country chocolate with Melt Chocolates

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Sampling chocolate at a joint tasting with Melt

Sampling chocolate at a joint tasting with Melt

A new season of joint monthly tastings celebrating fine chocolate made in cacao growing countries, in partnership with London chocolatier, Melt Chocolates.

Each month we’ll explore a new chocolate maker or country, with a talk, samples, specially made chocolates, glass of wine and guest speakers, in the fashionable surroundings of Melt’s Notting Hill shop.

The convention in chocolate production is for tropical developing countries to grow, ferment and dry cacao, which is then shipped to developed northern nations, where finished chocolate is made. This has been just as true in the fine chocolate world as for mass production confectionery. The reality with this type of chocolate production though is that only a few percent of the price of your chocolate goes to the farmers and exporters who grow and ship cacao.

A better deal

This is changing though, as new enterprises and projects in growing countries are springing up with the goal of producing and exporting finished chocolate to the traditional fine chocolate consuming countries. Some of these initiatives are from well established local companies, some from small artisanal projects. Either way they have the great advantage of being much close to their beans.

Cacao growing in Colombia

Cacao growing in Colombia

The chocolate quality from these chocolate makers may not yet be up to the heady standards of the best European and US chocolate yet, but these projects have a huge potential. There’s also a strong ethical benefit in this kind of production – a much higher proportion of the final value of the chocolate – the price you pay for a bar or bonbon – is getting back to the producing country.

To celebrate and encourage this growing trend, we present a new season of tastings that will explore growing country chocolate with monthly events at one of London’s leading chocolatiers, Melt. Each month will feature a different chocolate maker or country, where we will be tasting chocolate from names you might already have heard of, alongside some new discoveries.

The evenings will feature a tasting and talk by Martin Christy, editor of, a glass of wine, exclusive Melt chocolates and a goody bag to take home. We’ll also have invited guests at some of the tastings from the companies or countries producing fine chocolate in cacao growing regions.


You can find full listings of this special season of events as they are announced in the Growing country chocolate event section.

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One Comment

  1. Hello,

    I wanted to find out if you might be interested in featuring Cotton Tree Chocolate, at one of the tastings. Cotton Tree Chocolate is made in Belize with beans sourced from the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA, a farmers’ cooperative based in Punta Gorda, Belize.

    We also bring guests to Belize for week-long itineraries based around chocolate making, Fair Trade, organic farming, etc. You can see the itinerary here: .

    Please let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to help you obtain some chocolate for a tasting.

    Holly Masek

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