The truth is that dark chocolate, as much as it may be a treat and a luxury, has health benefits and incredible taste profiles that shouldn’t necessarily be relegated to the candy aisle. As more and more people take interest in where their food comes from and what’s in it, small-batch chocolate makers have begun making darker chocolate – chocolate that allows the full flavor of the cocoa beans to be featured front and center. If you’re going to make craft chocolate, you have to start with great ingredients. Most importantly, you have to start with great cocoa beans. Mindo Chocolate Makers start with one of the finest cocoa beans in the world -heirloom Arriba Nacional cacao – to create the most delicious chocolate possible.
Mindo Chocolate Makers, located in Dexter, Michigan, take “bean-to-bar” to the extreme….they begin their process as soon as their cocoa beans are harvested from trees in Ecuador. Mindo Chocolate Makers work directly with organic farming cooperatives in the surrounding area of their operation in Mindo. After fermenting and drying, the beans are roasted then they winnow the thin shells away from the meaty part of the bean, referred to as cocoa “nibs”. Like coffee, cocoa is roasted in order to caramelize the sugars and bring out rich flavor undertones. Loaded with antioxidants and wholesome fats, cocoa nibs are one of the healthiest foods you can possibly eat. The cocoa nibs and beans are then shipped from Mindo to the facility in Dexter, Michigan where they are stone ground. The chocolate is then “tempered” before it’s molded. In order to get the chocolate in temper, it needs to be heated and cooled in a very specific fashion just before it’s molded. All of the chocolate bars are carefully hand-wrapped. They are each given a final inspection to make sure the chocolate is in temper, blemish-free, and as beautiful as it can be before it reaches you.
Making craft bean-to-bar chocolate is a long and difficult process – Mindo Chocolate Makers think their product is worth it. We hope you do, too. Mindo Chocolate is a move towards more pure, more nutritious, and more delicious chocolate!