Understanding single origin chocolate
As with wine, coffee and some other gourmet foodstuffs, terroir makes a difference when it comes to chocolate. Single-origin chocolate uses beans from one country, region, growing area or sometimes even a single farm. The differences in regional flavors can be striking and can be easily ascertained by obtaining bars from various regions and conducting a tasting. Chocolate from the Ivory Coast, for example, has a bold rich flavor. Venezuelan chocolate is prized for its complex fruit and spice notes while chocolate from Madagascar can sometimes have citrus-like tones. The Criollo cocoa beans, which only thrive in certain areas of the Caribbean, Central America and the northern edges of South America, is particularly sought after. Some single origin chocolate is also organically grown and fair trade certified.