How it all began….?
It was the food of Gods, cocoa, that brought us to this amazing little paradise.
Being born in Belgium was a first sign that chocolate would play an important part in our life. However the sparkle that started off this adventure was the understanding that each cocoa bean has its own specific flavor profile. Just as grapes in the production of wine, each cocoa bean will reveal its own unique taste in each bar of chocolate. From the terroir and the climate of the plantation where the cocoa grows to the fermentation, drying and craftsmanship of the chocolate maker, each step in this process influences the final taste of a bar of chocolate.
After this revelation we started learning as much as we could about the process of making pure dark chocolate, from bean to bar. In Belgium, after several experiments in our kitchen laboratory, we were surprised to taste all these new fine flavors which we never encountered in chocolate before. We ordered beans from all around the world and made different chocolates using the same techniques. There were hints of different fruits coming out of the cocoa like cherries, figs, lemons and dried prunes. Also floral flavors like jasmine and roses and other ones like nuts, coffee and tobacco. We were stunned that chocolate had so much flavor complexity. In fact, there are more flavor compounds found in dark chocolate than there are in red wine or coffee.
So, in order to produce a good chocolate you need to start with a good quality bean. As there aren’t any cocoa trees in Belgium we decided to go to the source, the origin of all cocoa : Central America!
After a series of fortunate events we arrived in Nicaragua, the land of lakes and volcanoes! The nature and wildlife of Nicaragua is diverse and abundant. From white sandy beaches to hills, grasslands and unexplored jungles. It was here that we found some exquisite cocoa beans.
Now we had the choice: bringing the beans back to Belgium or producing the chocolate right here, in the land of origin. We chose Nicaragua!
As we are living in Nicaragua now, we have the opportunity to be in close contact with the farmers, cooperatives and processors of cocoa on a daily basis. You feel closer, more connected to the beans and you can learn and control the process from seed to bean. Next to that, by producing the chocolate locally, we are adding more value to the final product in the country of origin and at the same time creating jobs locally.
Like Lapa-Lapa we continue our search for the finest cocoa beans of Nicaragua in order to make unique and delicious chocolate for the world to taste. You are more than welcome to visit our chocolate factory in the beautiful city of Granada and taste some of the adventure yourself.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist