Los Angeles Chocolate Maker Helps Farmers Switch from Cocaine to Cacao Production in Peru
Like other premium single origin chocolate bars, the terroir of the cacao beans reveals itself in the finished product. "In this case, our Ucayali bar tastes strongly of caramel, leading into a warm mocha finish and a hint of cedar. There's nothing quite like it," says David Menkes, owner and chocolate maker at LetterPress Chocolate in Los Angeles. "Having worked so closely with Ucayali River Cacao, we have secured the absolute best of the best to craft our absolute best bar." In addition to winning awards for the chocolate itself, LetterPress Chocolate was also awarded the Academy of Chocolate's Gold Award for Packaging Design. The unique pattern is based on the indigenous Shipibo pattern of Ucayali.
Ucayali River Cacao was founded in 2015 with the goal of fermenting the most consistent, excellent quality cacao in the world. LetterPress Chocolate received the very first sample of this cacao and produced the first ever chocolate made from this unique fermentation process.
LetterPress Chocolate pays Ucayali River Cacao directly for their cacao, establishing a Direct Trade partnership. As a bean to bar chocolate maker, LetterPress Chocolate imports cacao beans from the source, and carefully roasts, cracks, winnows, refines, tempers and wraps every batch in a painstaking process which can take up to a week per batch.
LetterPress Chocolate's Ucayali Private Reserve Bar is available at speciality shops nationwide and on LetterPress Chocolate's website for $18.