Updated: Dec 12, 2021
We are so grateful to have been awarded our first award at the 2020 International Chocolate Awards!
Bronze went to our two ingredient 70% single origin bar from Belize, Maya Mountain
We sourced these beans through our partners at Uncommon Cacao, whose value and dedication to transparent trade is something we really appreciate, and the basis for what we do.
Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) was founded in 2010 and was Uncommon Cacao's first origin project, and majority-owned by Uncommon Cacao. It was the first specialty grade, high quality, fine flavor cacao to be offered from Belize.
The beans are sourced from approximately 400 smallholder farming families in the Toledo and South Stann Creek districts of Belize - most of whom are indigenous Q’eqchi’ and Mopan Maya and who have been producing cacao for generations.
The beans are fermented and dried centrally. For farmers, this model provides market stability, convenience, and focused attention on the benefits of proper growing yields, while ensuring a fair and stable price for their product. Farmers receive more than what they would at the fair trade market price for these beans.
For chocolate makers like us, this means beans are both consistent and reliable in flavor and also quality. Proper fermentation and drying are essential to a good quality end product, and both fermentation and drying happen at source, once the pods are taken from the trees and opened. There is a science to both of these steps, and we really appreciate the meticulous attention paid to proper fermentation and drying.
These beans have been fantastic to work with, their flavor profile was so diverse at different roast times and lengths. This bar specifically has nice notes of dried fruit, particularly raisins, with a little nuttiness and some honey too.
we have had a lot of enjoyable pairings with this bar, most notably diverse craft beers and surprisingly, white wine too!
thank you to the judges for awarding us with this Bronze award and also for the constructive feedback we received post-awards competition. We are looking forward to making more truly craft chocolate!
Maya Mountain Cacao was awarded an Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) designation in 2014, and in 2019 MMC was awarded a Cocoa of Excellence Award, which placed it within the Top 20 cocoas globally.
p.s. This past summer, we also made a lactose free sorbet with fresh raspberries and used our Maya Mountain for the chocolate chunks! Absolutely divine! www.trueand12.com