Do you want to learn more about the origin of our Mesjokke-ingredients? Are you curious where we get our products from which make our chocolate so heavenly good?
Then this is the place to be! On this page, we will give you a deeper insight in all these matters. Because once you know where your chocolate-bar really comes from, you can enjoy it even more.
- D.A.R.C. Angel: Nicaragua The cocoabeans for our D.A.R.C. Angel chocolatebars originate from the plantations of Cacao Bisiesto in La Dalia, which is situated in the Matagalpa region in Nicaragua. The name is linked to the founding day of the company, the 29th of February, which only occurs during leap years. Bisiesto is the Spanish word for leap.
The founders José Enrique Herrera and Giff Laube are in close contact with other farmers to ensure the quality of the cocoa and to be able to offer them a higher price than world market prices. Together they respectfully treat the nature and the cocoa during the whole productionprocess, so that the dried cocoa has only a subtle bitterness and acidity. The flavour profile is quite intense and it reminds us of coffee and nuts.
- Stardust: Madagascar The cocoa for our Stardust chocolate comes from the continent with the world’s largest cocoa production, namely Africa. But not from the cocoa region (West Africa), but approximately 6000 km southeast from here. The beans originate from one of the largest islands in the world: Madagascar. Here, a former Swedish diplomat (Åkesson) settled in 1970 en founded multiple plantations since then. The cocoa from these plantations is renowned in bean-to-bar spheres, but is mostly used for the production of dark chocolates. We saw it as a huge challenge to produce a milk chocolate with this fantastic cocoa. A dark milk chocolate however, in which the different layers of flavour (sweetness, bitterness, sourness, saltiness; but also fruity and caramel notes) come through wondefully well.To be more specific about the origin of the cocoa, they are produced at the Ambolikapiky platation which is part of Åkesson’s 2000 ha plot in Madagaskar. It is situated in the Sambirano valley in the northwestern part of Madagascar. Christian is head of the fermentation process, and keeps track of this 6 day procedure. After 2, 4 and 5 days (in cocoa terms 2-2-1-1), the beans are turned to create an airflow so that the beans become well fermented. Marguerite takes care of a perfect drying process which takes 5 days up to two weeks, depending on the weather. Both like local Saleg-music, which is played most often during the labour. Bertil Åkesson, the owner of the plantation, loves Saleg-music as well but has a broader taste varying from classical music to rock ‘n roll. No day passes by without music: the first thing done in the morning is turning on the stereo set.
- Swingin’ Sunrise: Tanzania The beans for our dark Swingin’ Sunrise chocolate come from Africa as well. But these are coming from the mainland: Tanzania to be a bit more precise. The cooperative that takes care of this amazing cacao is called Kokoa Kamili en was founded by Brian and Simran. Next to these two great men, the cooperative is run by 10-20 people. It is based in the Kilombero valley, in a small town called Mbingu (Swahili for ‘heaven’). From here, the beans are collected from small cacao farmers nearby, in order to centrally ferment and dry them. In this way, they are able to include small farmers in their practices and offer them a higher price as well, but also to guarantee the same high quality for each and every bag of cacao. The flavour of these beans is really complex: red fruit, acidity, dark chocolate flavours, warm spices; you will have a different experience every time you taste it. By ensuring this high quality, the farmers can finally get some money out of cultivating cacao in Tanzania, and through this also to build a better life. Next to this, Kokoa Kamili also offers training and seedlings to the farmers, so that they can constantly try to improve the quality of the cacao and the environment in which they are cultivated.
- Cane Sugar: For our D.A.R.C. Angel ánd for our Swingin’ Sunrise chocolate, we use cane sugar from Paraguay. This sugar comes from a cooperative called Asociación de Cañicultores Orgánicos de la Zona Central (ASOCACE). 200 small farmers sell their sugar to this cooperative, which ensures them of a way higher income than by selling it individually. Next to this, farmers never use pesticides nor chemical fertilizers, there are hardly any machines involved in the proces and the plants are at the end of the proces not burned but chopped down to the ground to make compost out of it. This results in a lower carbondioxide emission, even compared to beet sugar from Europe, and in an organic certification for this sugar.
- Palm sugar:The sugar in our Natural Blonde is retreived from the Masarang Foundation, operational in Sulawesi and Borneo, Indonesia. It has as its aim to protect endangered forest and rehabilitate degraded forest. People, planet and profit is crucial in everything they do. A higher income for the farmers is ensured, no fertilizers/pesticides are used, rainforest is not degraded but instead replanted and the local community is involved in the whole proces after the cultivation and harvest of the sugar (i.e. production, transport, etc.). The flavour profile of this sugar is slightly caramel but mostly way less sweet than a regular cane or beet sugar.
The taste of caramel in our Stardust chocolate is not coming from an extra ingredient, but we derive it from the Muscovado sugar we use. This is an unrefined, brown sugar (sounds like the Rolling Stones) with a high melasse-content. Melasse is extracted from the cooking of sugar until it becomes viscous. After this process, it is heated to evaporate the remaining water content. By doing this, it will get it’s caracteristic tast and it’s viscous consistency. The sugar is coming from Mauritius, a tiny island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. The climate overhere is perfect for the production of sugarcane. This sugar has an organic certification as well.
- Salt: We only add a pinch of this to our Stardust, but it does give that kick in the after taste. We use a Fleur de Sel from La Guérande, which does only have to be used in small quantities because of it’s high quality. La Guérande lies in Southern Brittany, which is a region in the western part of France close to Nantes, Rennes and Lorient. The cooperation there, takes care of a harmonious co-existence between the producers; mutual help and the sharing of benefits is not uncommon. Next to this, the producers take good care of the environment and will do everything within their capabilities to ensure the well-being of the surrounding areas.
- Fennelseed: To make our Natural Blonde even more exciting, we add fennel seeds to this chocolate. The seeds are retreived from De Bijenakker, based in Odijk. This is a garden with many (forgotten) vegetables, fruits and herbs/spices. Henk creates a place where, in his words, both people and nature can have a nice time. Biodiversity, changes throughout the seasons and working organically are main objectives for De Bijenakker. Our cacao shells, that are left over after deshelling the cacao, go to this place in order for them to make compost out of it; the fennel seeds flow back to us after it has been harvested; and the circle is complete! (When there is a disappointing harvest, we fill the gap with fennel seeds retreived from Het Blauwe Huis; fennel seeds with a Demeter certificate so that we know quite sure the story behind this herb is ok)
- Milk powder:Our milkpowder is a blend, mostly made out of a whey powder. This makes our Stardust and Natural Blonde chocolates less fatty and sticky in your mouth. Whey powder also adds a slight saltiness to the chocolates. Next to whey, we add a small amount of full milkpowder as well to get the creaminess of our chocolates right. Both powders are retreived from Tradin’ Organic, and are organic certified.