Updated: Aug 27, 2020
I came across this gem of a chocolate company, Seed Chocolate, in my quest to learn more about the Gran Nativo Blanco cacao bean from Peru. I read about it in a cacao publication and was really curious what made this bean so special. I searched high and low for a chocolate bar made with these beans. Perhaps I wasn’t looking in the right place, but I couldn’t seem to find any bars within the USA. So I contacted James Walter, the master chocolatier and driving force behind Staffordshire’s first bean to bar operation. Yes, I had to connect with someone in the UK for this delicacy.
According to Seed Chocolate’s website,
“It is a very special and elegant cacao with a high proportion of white beans.” The site further notes, “Hidden for more than a century, this gem from nature was rediscovered in 2008 on the small cacao fields by San Juan de Bigotes, in Piura, North of Peru." - Seed Chocolate
Imagine that, eating a chocolate bar made from beans that were recently rediscovered. Even if it was an advertising gimmick, I still had a hankering to try something this rare to see if it was worth the hype.
James was the perfect resource, for despite being fairly new to the industry (established in 2017), Seed Chocolate’s small batches have won The International Chocolate Awards in 2019, The Academy of Chocolates Awards in 2018 and 2019, and The Great Taste award in 2018 and 2019. Those are great accolades to speak of!
I had the opportunity to try three of their different bars: 1) 100% Cacao Bar made with Unroasted Gran Nativo Blanco cacao beans; 2) 88% Cacao Bar made with Gran Nativo Blanco cacao beans; and 3) 100% Cacao Bar made with Gran Yapatera Blanco cacao beans from Peru.
Let me first start by saying that all of the bars are beautiful and have a lovely pattern that is divided into six pieces each of which either have the image of a cacao bean or the leaf of the cacao plant. While some people prefer smaller bitesize pieces, I find the six scored pieces to be the perfect size as they provide you with ample opportunity to really savor the chocolate.
100% Unroasted Gran Nativo Blanc Peru
On to our first bar – the 100% Cacao Bar made with Unroasted Gran Nativo Blanco cacao beans. This white varietal bean has some truly unique characteristics. The bar is a lighter shade of brown that is somewhere between mocha and brown. It has a nice crisp snap and is accompanied by a sweet coffee roasty aroma. It has strong earthy qualities that led me to envision all facets of a rainforest – the sights, smells, and tastes. Imagine the taste of damp leaves and tobacco with a slightly spicy finish that you feel as it hits the back of your throat. Interweave this with a hint of honeydew melon that has not reached the peak of ripeness and you end up with a bar that infuses the richness of raw of cacao and robust flavors of the rainforest.
88% Roasted Gran Nativo Blanc Peru
The 88% version of this bar is roasted and comes in a 52g bar in comparison to its 70g 100% counterpart. It has a softer snap and the enticing aroma of sweet honey. This bar has a pleasing blend of sweetness from seemingly disparate sources such as honey, honey suckle flower, and citrus fruits like mandarin orange or tangelo. It is creamy, gently melts in your mouth, and has a fairly clean finish that doesn’t linger long. Imagine a sweet citrusy youthful perfume and you’ve got the 88% Gran Nativo Blanco bar. After one bite you’ll wish that the 52g bar magically increased in size to 70g.
100% Gran Yapatera Blanco Peru
Lastly, is the 100% Cacao Bar made with Gran Yapatera Blanco cacao beans from Peru. It has a soft snap and smelled of citrusy coffee. The aroma was very much in line with the bright flavor of this bar, as it awakens the senses with its tart grapefruit and espresso flavors. While it has an astringent finish, this is tempered by the smooth and soft texture of the bar. This is the ideal selection for those who like intense bold and stimulating flavors.
Each of these bars offer chocolate lovers a varying range of flavors that will satisfy the craving for something unique and out of the ordinary. And, if you thought these bars had a fascinating palate profile, you definitely need to check out Seed Chocolate’s chocolate inclusion bars. They are appropriately described as “Grown up chocolate”, like their Land & Sea Dark Chocolate bar made with foraged ingredients like Cuckoo & scurvy flowers, pepper dulce seaweed and sea truffle, or their Pink Gin Dark Chocolate bar made with their signature juniper and pink grapefruit salt.
All discerning chocolate connoisseurs are welcome to check out Seed Chocolate’s website: https://www.seedchocolate.com/