Anamalai – Nutmeg Fermentation
Tasting notes: mulled wine and orange marmalade
At Regal Plantations, just outside Anamalai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, brothers-in-law Karthikeyan Palanisamy and Harish Kumar grow cacao trees among coconut palms, nutmeg trees, and other smaller crops, improving both the health of the soil and the quality of the crops. Curious how cocoa beans and nutmeg might taste if combined, Regal — a long-trusted Dandelion partner — produced a tiny batch of nutmeg-fermented cocoa just for us. Having a committed buyer for an experimental batch of beans provided Karthikeyan and Harisha with the security they needed to take an innovative risk with their process.
Once the tiny lot of just over 300 kilograms of nutmeg-fermented cocoa reached our factory, Richard had only enough beans to run one round of developmental mini-batches before committing to a flavor profile for the full-sized batches — and he knew immediately upon sampling the beans that he wanted to highlight their warm, wintery aromas of spice and fruit. This uniquely produced cocoa is the first spiced ferment we've ever crafted into finished chocolate, and we hope it won't be the last!
- Ingredients and Allergens
All of our single-origin chocolate is made with just cocoa beans and sugar; no added cocoa butter, lecithin, or vanilla. Our chocolate is free of soy, dairy, eggs, and gluten, and it is made in a factory that does not process nuts.
2 oz (56 g)
- Learn More
Learn more about our cocoa beans and sugar — the region, the farms, and the producers.
The plantation is visited by tigers from the preserve next door, and by elephants who pull snacks straight from the coconut trees.
About This Fermentation
When we first tasted regular cocoa beans from Regal, a number of people noted a hint of nutmeg flavor in the initial sample. Was that due to our impression of what Indian beans would taste like? Maybe it was because the cacao pods which had contained those beans were grown near nutmeg trees? Well, we liked that hint of nutmeg, and we and the Regal team next wondered how adding actual nutmeg seeds to the fermentation boxes might affect the flavor of the beans themselves! Does adding nutmeg to a ferment make the beans taste like nutmeg? We'd be interested to know what you think!
PHOTO: IAN YEO
A Note from Richard
I am honored and excited for you to try this bar. We had no idea how the chocolate made from these beans was going to taste until I started development, and we are fortunate at how tasty it ended up being! We hope this chocolate represents the start of many more experimental batches of cocoa coming to you in bar form, including more inoculated fermentation lots from other producers.
When running taste tests, we found a huge diversity of tasting notes that didn’t necessarily make it on to our packaging, so I encourage you to come up with your own descriptors. I would love to hear your personal tasting notes! These beans come from one of the few cocoa producers that also makes chocolate; I suggest you try their bars as well.