Wednesday, December 23, 2015


There has been a lot of talk lately about the whole bean-to-bar crafted chocolate movement and what it actually means as far as authenticity goes.  Purist will tell you that the small artisan companies that do this sort of work roast or grind their own beans from a single-source country origin and pretty much make a chocolate confection by adding just a bit of sugar to insure only the true flavor shines through. Beans from a specific country will have a discernible taste difference when prepared in the right manner and most commercial chocolates can not achieve the proper cooking methods to bring out the flavors.  We had been working with the three Maloney Brothers at Sugar Hill Market and learned a lot about this process and why it all requires small batches to even get a few bars made.

Sol Cacao started up in Harlem by Dominic, Daniel and Nicholas who originally grew up on a small farm in Trinidad.   One of the chocolate bars offered up by the new company comes from an organic grower from that part of the Caribbean and the company has slowly incorporated two other source origins in the past year.  This takes time since finding the right farm and coming up with the recipe for each quality can be a challenge because the properties of each crop are so different.  Each bean has a unique taste or textures with hints of fruit, wine or nut in the flavor profile which are all intrinsic to each country and all react differently in the kitchen.  Small batches are always made to insure quality control and doing mass production usually mitigates the flavors that make each bar so special.

Everything is also made uptown in a commercial kitchen at the Union Food Lab over on Broadway and 122nd Street.  The incubator kitchen startup within the Union Theological Seminary provides the sanitary environment for food business to make and package everything that is required when selling goods to store. This also helps with keeping multiple businesses in the city since all of the companies are helping one another out on a holistic level .  Sol Cacao sells out regularly at SHM but look out for the Harlem chocolate company at the local Whole Foods when the store finally opens on Lenox Avenue.

1 comment:

  1. We sampled this chocolate at Sugar Hill Market and immediately bought 10 of the bars for Christmas gift supplements. YUMMMMMMMM. And the brothers were a true pleasure to speak with; they were well-informed and passionate. Nothing not to love here, folks.