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Mantuano

Venezuela

70 2016

Dandelion Chocolate

Tasting notes: classic dark chocolate, roasted almonds, and espresso

These beans come from the Asociación Cooperativa La Flor del Cacao Mantuano, a women-run cooperative in a tiny northern Venezuelan village. In 2012, we made the first single-origin bar ever produced from Mantuano, and it became an immediate favorite inside the factory and out. We purchased beans yearly until 2016, when ongoing political unrest disrupted trade, made eight final metric tonnes into bars, and bid farewell to this incredible origin we loved so much … or so we thought.

This year, we came upon a hidden stash of these extremely rare 2016 beans in our climate-controlled storage facility. Since properly stored cocoa beans are much like fine wine in that their flavors can evolve in wonderful ways over time, this discovery felt like finding a long-forgotten case of valuable French wine in a relative's dark, cool basement! Our Valencia team couldn't wait to make these beans into bars again, and everything we loved about previous batches is showcased in this special release.

"Venezuelan cacao is known throughout the world for its quality and the team from the Asociación Cooperativa La Flor Del Cacao Mantuano makes some of my very favorite. It was one of the first fermentaries that I visited as Dandelion's Sourcerer and the aromas still stick with me to this day. The chocolate made from their beans has a hint of spice that lingers on the palate."

– Greg D’Alesandre, Bean Sourcerer

 

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.

Weight

Two ounces (56g)

Learn More

Learn more about our cocoa beans and sugar the region, the farms, and the producers.

About Mantuano, Venezuela

Until a few years ago, Mantuano was a foreign name to chocolate makers. The small town in northern Venezuela produced very little cacao, and what it did produce was tradi- tionally mixed in with other regional lots and sold to large buyers. In 2008, a few women from Mantuano took a two hour bus ride to a local NGO that provided support for cacao farmers, organized themselves under the NGO, and received government financing to build out facilities for chocolate making and cacao fermentation in their village.

In 2010, Patrick Pineda—founder of the cacao exporter and tea company Tisano—saw potential in the new project, and helped to finance the completion of drying patios, fermenting boxes, and tools. The company began to send technical support for fermentation, and in 2010, exported the first lot. So far, the results have been stunning. In 2013, Greg and Caitlin visited Mantuano and met the women who run the cooperative as they were working on a variety of projects to improve quality and consistency.