When trying a sample of the Momotombo Chocolate Factory’s chocolates at the Chocolate Salon, I instantly found it a unique experience. Unique, too, that the company is right out of Nicaragua, using cacao grown in the country. Their symbol is the Momotombo Volcano of Nicaragua. What made the difference on just that first taste I got is that they make their chocolate “handcrafted directly from raw unprocessed forest grown cacao beans.” Instead of all the usual processing, the beans are just lightly roasted before grinding.
Of course, I picked out the assorted box to take away. The nine chocolates in it are all of a rather decent size, looking much like Christmas ornaments in their bright colors. They have an almost cake-like texture, dense and soft. It’s just a tad dusty, but in a fitting way. Also very rich and chocolaty. Primal, you could say.
I was a little disappointed in not knowing what all the flavors are, even while staring at the list on the website. It can be disconcerting for such large and untamed chocolates to become mystery truffles. That aside, however, they’re quite interesting.
My first was the red-wrapped one, which unsurprisingly contained chili. The strength is just right as this chocolate won’t let even strong chili overwhelm it. There were also an orange and a mango chocolate, whose flavors went into the very fabric of the chocolate. It’s great that fresh ingredients, down to the fruit, are used, though I admit I’m personally not the keenest on pieces of fruit in my chocolate.
In silver was a coffee chocolate, which turned out quite strong, though this is probably necessary in order to taste the coffee at all. And it does end up a nice combination.
If you’re wondering, the sesame seed-covered chocolate seemed to have peanuts inside, which I wouldn’t expect, but how can I be guessing wrong about peanuts? The three flavors together give a new and not unpleasant meaning to nut-filled chocolate.
I never thought I would say this, but the Toasted Coconut (the other not foil-wrapped) turned out my favorite. The coconut felt like a kindred spirit with this chocolate: both are strong, earthy, a bit rough, and holding their own sweetness.
If the flavors are right for you, these chocolates can take you up and away. Don’t think of them as “raw,” think of them as “of the earth,” and if that phrase appeals to you, do give them a try if you get the chance. (They’re working right now on expanding to the North American market, so you may have to be patient).