Tropical Paradise

Tropical Paradise
"Tropical Paradise", watercolor, by Roye Jan Myers

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vegan White Chocolate

We've been working on our vegan white chocolate recipe for months now -- there have been a lot of 'almost there' versions, and quite a few 'wow, not even close to there' versions (we call those lessons learned...).Yesterday, though, we molded up our latest version, and I have to say, I think we're there -- or at least very close to 'there'.

What we would love more than anything right now, though, is to get some feedback from someone that isn't us. Judging our own (chocolate) creation is a little like telling other people how cute our kids are -- there's a built in bias that kind of taints the proclamation. If you're a white chocolate fan that's been looking for a high quality vegan option, we have a dozen or so small bars that we'd be happy to share in exchange for some candid (and hopefully constructive!) feedback. Just send your address to us at and we'll get a bar off in the mail to you.

David and Leslie

Sunday, May 27, 2012

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ”— Albert Einstein

Saturday, May 26, 2012

About Our Flagship Chocolate -- Fortunato No. 4

                                  The World's Rarest Chocolate

Fortunato No. 4, the rarest chocolate in the world. In a remote Marañón River Canyon of Peru, mother nature or an ancient civilization has hidden this chocolate treasure. For centuries these trees, growing in an isolated micro-climate at twice the normal altitude, have been creating beans with flavors which no one has ever tasted.......Until Now.

These recently discovered trees had ancestral relatives, which once grew on the flat plains near the Pacific Ocean, in Ecuador.  The natives called these all dark brown beans, Pure Nacional. In the 1820's a Swiss chocolate maker discovered these remarkable beans and took them to Europe and America. Within a decade, chocolate made from Pure Nacional beans, dominated the gourmet chocolate market in Europe and the US. The chocolate was famous for the aromas and flavors of delicate flowers and fruits. Suddenly diseases struck the trees and by 1919, Pure Nacional chocolate disappeared.

Nearly 100 years later, these thought-to-be-extinct trees were rediscovered, near where the Marañón River forms the headwaters of the mighty Amazon River.  During the centuries of growing in isolation, these rare beans evolved. To the amazement of the scientists, pure white beans are now growing in the same pods with the dark brown beans. This creates an entirely new flavor profile. The pure white beans add a nutty flavor to the traditional flower and fruit flavors, which had made the chocolate famous, nearly 100 years ago.

The United States Department of Agriculture performed genetic testing of these trees and reported, “This Pure Nacional variety is genetically identical to its Ecuadorian ancestors. However, the white beans growing in the same pods with the dark brown beans is an unprecedented discovery. This combination of Pure Nacional beans exists nowhere else on the planet.” 

The limited number of trees grow on small farms in this remote canyon, which has no infrastructure.  Once harvested, the beans are brought out by foot, by burro and by motorcycle to a location within this Marañón Canyon. There the beans are fermented and dried with a special process developed to protect these rare delicate aromas and flavors.

The Pure Nacional white and dark brown beans then travel to Switzerland, where old world chocolate machines built in 1879, make the chocolate. These ancient machines protect the delicate nut, flower and fruit flavors, as they slowly turn the beans into the chocolate, you hold in your hands.

The chocolate is named after Don Fortunato, the farmer where the purest trees were found. Enjoy the  aromas and flavors of the rarest chocolate in the world, which no one has ever tasted....... Until Now.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Tropical Pardise", watercolor, by Roye Jan Myers

The artwork at the top of our blog is from a watercolor by Texas artist Roye Jan Myers – it was love at first sight when we discovered this beautiful painting (so much so that we bought it!). We are proud to be able to share and promote Ms. Myers work through our adventures in fine chocolate – we’ve chosen it as the packaging artwork for our first line of bars and barks.
Coming from her background as an art educator for 17 years Roye Jan Myers has learned to “fear no art”. Most of her paintings, whether abstract or representational, convey a mood. She studies the way things are, then subtracts, adds or modifies to portray what she wants to say about the subject.
“Nature is the ultimate source for many of my compositions. I enjoy painting on location and feeling the atmosphere first hand. With Tropical Paradise I was inspired by the diversity of shapes and exotic colors inherent in a bird of paradise plant. I purposely made the background complex with overlapping shapes and colors to add to the mystery it seems to portray. The bird of paradise seems to demand the spotlight with its majestic, spear-like presence!”
More on Roye Jan Myers and her artwork, and on the gallery she co-owns, The Artists’ Showplace, can be found on her website at