During the course of Chocolate Week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Santiago Perlta, General Manager of Pacari on several occasions. Santiago is absolutely passionate about his chocolate and the organic, ethical and sustainable practices that Pacari use at every stage of the chocolate making process.
Having had the chance to try a lot more of his chocolate, that passion really shows in the finished product. Without exception, Pacari’s products are unique, distinctive and packed full of flavour.
This is a raw chocolate, meaning the beans are fermented at low temperatures and not roasted. Raw chocolate is sometimes considered a ‘superfood’ because it contains high levels of flavanols, but many of the raw chocolates on the market today just aren’t very appetising. Often they have a soft or fibrous texture, and simply don’t taste that great. Pacari is different.
The chocolate is dark in colour, with a nice, glossy appearance and a pleasing snap – a very different experience from any other raw chocolate I’ve tried.
The flavour is incredible. The salt is initially quite predominant, but as soon as the chocolate starts to melt, all kinds of wonderful flavours start to appear. There’s a distinctly woody note – partly enhanced by the raw cacao nibs, a green, grass-like notes, banana, and finally a warm caramel that’s highlighted by the salt. It’s quite difficult to believe that just four ingredients (cacao beans, cane sugar, salt and sunflower lecithin) can produce such a range of flavour.
This is one of my new favourite chocolate bars. Not only is it produced completely ethically, but it really is quite addictive. The only problem at the moment is that it’s not particularly easy to get hold of. If you’re in the UK, you might be able to get some from Chocolate and Love, or visit the Pacari website to contact them and find a local distributor.