Small Chocolate Square Topped with Strawberries

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This is a "bean to bar" dark chocolate. Marco Colzani has traveled the world selecting the finest ingredients to craft the perfect chocolate bar. This bar is 66% dark chocolate from the Ivory Coast, the variety is called Forastino. This chocolate is smooth and rich with notes of ripe fruit and cream. It is topped with thinly sliced strawberries from Basilicata, for a fresh berry flavor and a pleasantly chewy mouthfeel. It’s the perfect sweet treat to serve your dinner guests, or to stash in your pantry and nibble on throughout the week!

For this chocolate square, Marco Colzani has chosen fragole (strawberries) di Basilicata for their sweetness and unique aroma. The strawberries are sourced and dehydrated by BorgoLab in Emilia Romagna, experts in selecting and drying exceptional fruit without the use of chemicals. The drying process enhances the aromatic qualities of the strawberries without interfering with the fruit’s flavor. The sugar is sourced from Brazil, and the cacao butter Marco makes himself. The strawberries are meant to be a garnish, to help contrast and bring out the flavors of the chocolate. BorgoLab dried strawberries from Basilicata and Marco Colzani "bean to bar" dark chocolate are an exceptional pairing. 

Marco sources the cacao beans from the GI-COOPACI cacao cooperative located in the city of Divo, Ivory Coast. The farms in this cooperative are very small, many smaller than 10 acres. GI-COOPACI works with farmers to make their systems more sustainable. The cacao butter is made from the same beans as the chocolate. This is extremely rare. Cacao butter is typically a mass market commodity. Instead, this bar is single origin chocolate AND single origin cocoa butter. And if that doesn't elevate your chocolate eating habit, we don't know what will!

Marco is one of the world’s few true “bean to bar” chocolatiers. He regularly travels to visit 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 cane sugar - no additives, preservatives, soy or vanilla. He calls his chocolate “spremuta di fave” -  the 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 individual batch of beans. He also ages his chocolate for 2-3 months; like in winemaking, aging lets the chocolate’s deep flavor develop, but this a costly process that most chocolate makers skip. Marco’s chocolate is also un-conched, which means it is processed as little as possible, so the beans maintain their natural flavor characteristics. In all of the artisanal sweets he produces, his philosophy is simple: “to take away everything that is unnecessary, and try to come as close as possible to the original.”