Marco has chosen the best nuts from Italy. The nuts are not toasted but dehydrated to enhance their texture and aromatic qualities without interfering with their flavor. They are meant to garnish and bring out the complexity of the chocolate, which is the true protagonist in this bar. The raw sugar also comes from Italy, specifically Emilia-Romagna.
Marco is one of the world's few true bean-to-bar chocolatiers. He regularly visits his cacao bean suppliers to taste the beans right at the source and work with the farmers to develop the best fermentation methods. Marco's chocolate contains just two ingredients: cacao beans and raw sugar - no additives, preservatives, soy, or vanilla. He calls his chocolate a "spremuta di fave" - a freshly squeezed juice of cacao beans. His recipe is never the same twice since he adjusts the sugar-to-cacao bean ratio based on each batch of beans. He also ages his chocolate for 2-3 months. Like in winemaking, aging allows the chocolate's deep flavor to develop, but it's a costly process that most chocolate makers skip. Marco's chocolate is also un-conched, which means it is processed as little as possible, allowing the beans to maintain their natural flavor characteristics.
But there is more. Marco's cacao butter comes from the same cacao farms he sources his beans from. This is almost unique in chocolate production: cacao butter is typically a mass-market commodity, and it's infrequent finding chocolatiers who opt for a process that starts from scratch. Instead, this bar is single-origin chocolate AND single-origin cocoa butter. Now, if that doesn't elevate your chocolate-eating habit, then we really don't know what will!