It is surprising how many chocolate brands are already produced locally in the Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient. We found no fewer than 14 excellent local choices. A lot of them are located in Davao.
After several failed attempts (at the end of the 19th century and at the end of the Cold War in the 1980s) of introducing cocoa, Vietnam finally embraced the brown gold in the early 2000s. But it took another decade for new chocolatiers in Vietnam itself to start with chocolate made from the cocoa beans of their home country.
Chocolatiers start their small bean-to-bar productions all over the world. In Japan and India, two chocolatiers add palmyra sugar to their cocoa! The next step has been taken towards better chocolate: the replacement of the white sugar. Palmyra sugar will become the rebel of the chocolate world.
The Dark Tastes of Anne of Austria. A boy of 16 was standing alone in front of a church altar in France during his marriage ceremony. His 14-year- old bride didn’t need to show up. Engaged since she was 11, everything had been arranged for her. Nowadays it would have been a scandal, but in… Read more
What is the definition of a drug? Most would agree that it means medicine or any other substance that has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. Well, there you go—chocolate clearly is a drug by those standards. It not only makes you feel better but it also improves your memory… Read more
Until 1755 British people spoke of cacao, just like the rest of the world. So why did they change their pronunciation of this exquisite food? Is the word cocoa just a misspelling from 1755? How popular was chocolate really in that period? Its popularity was more widespread than you probably would expect even though no… Read more
Empty Oceans Before getting into the exciting developments of current cocoa prices, let me tell you about an experience I had with another food source. I was sitting in a very popular seafood restaurant in Toul Svay Prey, a central area of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The restaurant was owned by a Vietnamese family, but… Read more
We grow cocoa beans in Cambodia and will eventually either create or support a Cambodian bean-to-bar brand. What Cambodia is still lacking—local chocolate brands—has already taken off in many other countries in Asia. Chocolate really is a rising star in Asia, and this is most certainly due to the region’s rapidly growing middle class. The… Read more
We brought cocoa to Cambodia in 2014. It was the first time in history that cocoa was planted on a commercial base. Many things went wrong. We were inexperienced. Despite the professional help from Mars Sustainable in Vietnam, we were still struggling. And we were threatened by severe droughts in 2015 and almost gave up.… Read more
It was December 1997. The Asian financial crisis was at its peak. Countries like Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore – who previously proudly titled themselves as tiger economies – suddenly plummeted into deep economic despair. In Thailand, the highly influential and respected monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej addressed his Thai people who… Read more