We are excited to tell you about our new collaboration with Megan Giller of Chocolate Noise! With the rapid growth the bean to bar chocolate industry has experienced in the past 10 years, it’s apparent that there is a lack of clarity around chocolate and cacao, which creates confusion for consumers.
We are creating a series of chocolate infographics. Our goal is to help to simplify understanding about where chocolate comes from and the skill of those that make it and work with it to create the bars and bonbons we all enjoy. We hope to tell story as simply as possible, and while we may not capture all of the nuances of post-harvest and factory processes, we hope people remember the image.
I was asked to come to my sons’ preschool and tell them a bit about chocolate. When I asked the class of 3 and 4 year olds where chocolate comes from, the resounding answer was “the chocolate factory.” What’s interesting is that I’m sure many adults would have a similar answer. The chocolate we grew up eating was made by large multi-national companies, and telling the story about where chocolate actually comes from wasn’t part of their marketing strategy. So it’s not surprising that most of us have no idea that chocolate even comes from a tree, and that it’s grown by farmers. The “chocolate factory” is an important part of the story, and the answer isn’t wrong. It’s just not where the story begins.
So, the first infographic is called “How Chocolate is Born” and tells the story of chocolate BEFORE it arrives in the hands of a chocolate maker. It isn’t “chocolate” yet, but cacao pods growing on a tree. The cacao pods are cracked, and the beans are harvested. And then, as Megan from Chocolate Noise says, our friend the cacao bean gets chocolate-wasted off fermented cacao-pulp martinis and tans in the sun until he’s all dried out. (Thanks to Fernanda Frick for the awesome illustration.) Stay tuned for Part 2 next month!