I guess this is a nice time to share something different with you. Looking back at my trail to a growing passion for chocolate, I was seeking the stepping stones to Choqoa. Sharing what bars changed my chocolate life is for another blog post, first I wanted to look for people.
Keeping it brief was rather difficult, but these people definitely helped shaping what Choqoa is today.
My Aunt (and Stéphane Bonnat)
Once upon a bean, my aunt came back from France. Since long I was the chocolate guy of the family. She gifted me 6 different bars of Bonnat, a first glimpse on the goods, total disappointment.
What is this French brand I had never heard of? They’re all the same 75% bars?! (yeah the percentages, he). Thanks though. Let’s just unwrap and tuck into it.
And I still remember that couch where I ate a chunk of all 6 different origin bars. For those in the know, that’s where my lust became a passion. My aunt changed me from candy to chocolate with the discovery of origins .
Meeting Bertil was a fine coinicidence. He reacted to a blogpost on one of my tasting events, where we had tasted his bar. I replied with enthusiasm, and at all odds, he happened to stay in Antwerp for a while.
We scheduled and soon I ended up spending a whole morning with Bertil. I had no agenda, just driven by curiosity to learn. Our encounter was pleasantly informal, and we enjoyed talking things on chocolate and life.
Bertil Akesson changed my knowledge about how plantations – and its owners, work with chocolate makers. I had never been in talk with a person on the trader/plantation side. But Bertil shed light in that dark knowledge spot of me, with simple facts and personal stories.
I feel very fortunate to have spent a 10-day cacao tour in Costa Rica with Steve DeVries, and a fine gang of other cacao aficionado’s. Needles to say, this trip changed a whole perspective.
Steve was a geiser of knowledge, guiding us through the fields of chocolate uncensored. The whole gang talked beans and bars 24/7. I have some videos coming up soon.
Hightlights can be read on my posts on Costa Rica.
You & All Choqoa Fans
Yes, all of you too 100%. Those who read, and eat, those who share, those who come to taste. I should do more on helping you spreading the passion for fine chocolate still. Inspire me!
All your encouraging responses to Choqoa Selections and the Choqoa Tasting Events so far, change a bit how I look at cacao and appreciate chocolate. Because you share with me how you rediscover chocolate, and I’ll be happy to give more in return.
Looking forward to your comments, and keep on sharing Chocolate!