Founded by aerospace engineer and inventor Daniel Prieto Preston and based in the Red Hook neighbourhood of Brooklyn, Prieto produces bean to bar chocolate made with beans from the family’s own cocoa farm in the Dominican Republic. Unusually, they also produce a range of cacao based rums and liqueurs made from the same beans. Even more unusually, they also sell a range of chocolate making machines.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the machines to try, but I do have some chocolate and some rum, courtesy of UK distributors The Chocolate Society who were kind enough to send me some samples.
The first thing that stands out about the chocolate is the packaging. The two flavoured bars I was sent come in elegant card boxes with charming illustrations on the front. Except these are actually postcards which you can keep or send – a great way of spreading the word about good chocolate!
The back of the boxes feature a window so you can see the chocolate itself. In this case, the bars are studded with enticingly large pieces of fruit and nuts… I couldn’t wait to try.
The first flavour I tried was Pecan and sour cherry. As you can see, it looks great. These bars aren’t divided into chunks. They’re just thick slabs of deliciously dark chocolate that force you to break off big chunks. Perfect.
The chocolate, which is the same 72% cocoa solids Dominican Republic in all the bars is really, really nice. It’s wonderfully smooth with a rich and fruity flavour. There’s a lot of cocoa butter in there which adds to the smooth texture, but that’s what I love. I could eat this chocolate all day.
The fruit and nuts just add to the experience. The pecans are deliciously crispy and light, and the sour cherries are bursting with flavour that complements the chocolate perfectly. I simply love this chocolate.
My hazelnut and raisin bar was even chunkier and just as delicious. These clearly hand made bars are a massive step up from your average fruit and nut chocolate. My preference is for the pecan and sour cherry, but that’s purely a personal choice.
Also included in my package of samples was this beautiful looking unflavoured bar. The thick paper wrapper is very reminiscent of Mast Brothers, and this bar is divided into chunks.
But perhaps most interesting of all is the cacao rum and rum liqueur.
I’m definitely not a rum reviewer, but obviously I had to try them! Both have a wonderful deep red colour. I tried both neat, and although they’re rather strong, there is a definite hint of cacao in both. I think they’d be great in cocktails.
Unfortunately, the rum isn’t available in the UK at the moment, but the chocolate is (links below), and I highly recommend giving it a go.
Here’s a great video of the Cacao Prieto chocolate making process.