Defined as the environmental conditions - especially soil and climate - which give a food its unique flavor and aroma, terroir is a term more often associated with wine. However, with the growing interest in single origin chocolate, people are becoming more aware of cacao terroir. Toledo’s landscape and climate, coupled with the natural wild cacao crosses, help produce our fine Toledo cacao, prized by chocolatiers within Belize and abroad.
Belize has many quality chocolate producers, all of whom use the organic Toledo cacao to create their masterpieces - Come and meet the following Chocolatiers at our 10th Annual Wine and Chocolate evening on May 20th at 7pm at The Lodge at Big Falls!
MOHO Chocolate Factory, established in January 2012, creates a marvelous rendition of everyone’s favorite treat. Our 72% dark chocolate, and 44% milk chocolate, uses organic cocoa beans locally grown by smallholder farmers of Maya Mountain Cacao Ltd.; deep in the lush rainforests of southern Belize, C.A.. Excluding soy lecithin and gluten, the mixture of cocoa nibs, cocoa butter, and cane sugar makes a very rich end-product; which, not only maintains the fruity, earthy taste of the cacao, but also the nutrition.
Moho Chocolate makes seven unique flavors of chocolate, a variety of chocolate truffles and other chocolate related product. We are located inside the tourist village, where it has become a great attraction for tourist to see the bean-to-bar process; and promotes sustainable tourism. Moho has also created two outlet store to continue the promotion of Belizean chocolate, to both international and local guest; and we strive to maintain quality in our product, as well as the bond we have with our customers.
Ix Cacao is a family business in the village of San Felipe. Juan Cho and his wife, Abelina, harvest and process the organic cacao grown on their family farm for use in their wonderful range of chocolate and cacao products.
This is chocolate like you've probably never tasted before with an intense flavour enhanced by all-spice and local wild vanilla, as well as the extra ingredients in their range of flavoured chocolate, from organic orange peel to the baalam nut - itself a relative of the cacao bean - or the chili chocolate inspired by the spicy chcolate "kukuh" beverage, enjoyed by the family's ancestors.
Belize Chocolate Company (BCC) founded in 2007 by Jo Sayer and Chris Beaumont is a micro batch bean to bar chocolate maker producing fine flavour chocolate bars (signature brand Kakaw beizean chocolate) truffles and other chocolate products. In 2012, they opened the very first chocolate boutique in Belize on Ambergris Caye, showcasing their products. Belize Chocolate Company has been a part of the Toledo Chocolate Festival for the past 9 years and look forward to being there this year for the 10th Anniversary.
Che'il Mayan Chocolate, located in Mayan Center Village in the Stann Creek District, is a small Artisanal chocolate company, operated and owned Julio and Heliadora Saqui, openning its doors in 2012. Today they have excelled their expectation and grown so fast and is now producing 2000 bars of "high end" chocolate a month to visitors and locals alike. They are producing Chocolate bras in six different flavors of Mint, Milk, Coffee, Orange, Ginger and Chili pepper in both milk and Dark chocolate and you the visitor can make your own chocolate by taking part in the cacao farm tour and chocolate making sessions. They produce Cacao Tea, Cacao Powder, Instant Choco-Maya, Cacao Nibs and their new Chocolate Liquor "BAKTUN".
Che'il means "Wild Maya", a name given to group of Mayans that run away from the invaders, who are the first know Humans to a have cultivated cacao. As a proud Mayan, Mr. Saqui invites you to join them in enjoying this gift of theirs from his Mayan ancestors - CHOCOLATE!
More than just single origin, each batch of Cotton Tree Chocolate starts with cocoa beans from a single day's harvest from a single farmer, and they work closely with the local farmers towards environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
Based at “the Chocolate Center of the Universe” on Front Street in PG Town, they produce a range of chocolate from their milk, dark milk, and dark chocolate bars to coconut rum filled bottles, and chocolate barrels filled with Belizean One Barrel Rum. They offer tours of the factory from Monday to Saturday and demonstrate all the steps to making chocolate, with free samples included, and their chocolate gift shop has many unique items, including chocolate soap and cocoa bean jewelry.
Xoco is the first producer to offer single variety, single origin, fine flavour cacao in volume. Xoco’s vision is “to transform the world of cacao production, and to maximize the fantastic flavour potential that the beans can bring to chocolate. Xoco operates in Central America (mainly in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize), and is currently seeking to expand projects both in the region and in Eastern Africa. Xoco focused on supplying high end cocoa beans to chocolatiers all over the world.
To meet the people from Xoco, Visit the Xoco Both at the Wine and Chocolate night and Taste of Toledo Craft and Food Fair in Punta Gorda Town from on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st May.
"To improve the socio-economic standard of living of our farmers through competitive and diversified systems of production that incorporate sound ecological practices."
The not-for-profit Association was founded in 1984, and has grown from a modest 400 acres to 3,000 acres of cacao. They now have more than 1,000 members across 52 communities who, collectively produce over 50 tons of cacao each year. Much of the cacao is exported under Fairtrade terms for use by Green & Black’s in their Maya Gold chocolate, with the remainder being reserved for Belize’s boutique chocolate makers.
With a fully functional extension department, TCGA provides a wide range of support services for existing and new farmers to ensure a top quality product as demanded by the market, and has undertaken several infrastructure projects over the last five years, including the construction of build satellite buying centers and drying facilities. TCGA’s subsidiary company, Maya House of Cacao offers interactive learning experience on cacao and chocolate to visitors with an aim of expanding rural development in ecotourism and to provide a venue for marketing cacao related products and Maya products to visitors in the region, whiles attracting investment to the area. Feel free to visit the Maya House of Cacao website at mayahouseofcacao.com and the TCGA website at www.tcgabelize.comto learn more about their invaluable work.
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