This week Trish and I are trying chocolate from the same state! Head over to Eating the Chocolate Alphabet to see which New York based chocolate maker she will be covering! I know who it is, but you don’t until you check it out 😉
I first heard about Cacao Prieto when I first attended the D.C. Chocolate Festival in the spring of 2016. Their beautiful wrappers were what originally caught my eye. The paper has texture and for me, there’s some kind of rustic and aged look to them that I found very attractive.
The company was started by Daniel Prieto Preston, whose family has been farming cacao in the Dominican Republic for more than 100 years. 100 YEARS! Their farm was originally started by Esteban Santos Prieto in 1900 when he and his wife moved to Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico and they started growing their own sugar and cacao. When Daniel moved to New York, he wanted to maintain those family roots and founded Carolina farms. The farm has the largest population of white/albino cacao trees called “Carolinas,” which are similar to the Porcelana cacao grown in Venezuela.
What makes Cacao Prieto so unique is the sugar and cacao for their bars has been farmed and turned into bars (and distilled drinks) literally by family. That’s amazing because all other chocolate makers I’ve read about have to work through some kind of co-op or other means to purchase their beans from cacao farmers and there aren’t blood relations like this. To read more about the Coralina Farms, check out their website.
This is my second time trying Cacao Prieto, and even though I’ve had their Dominican Spice bar before, I had to get it again. I used to greatly dislike spicy flavors in chocolate, but I remember that bar was the first time I could appreciate some heat.
Cacao Prieto’s website describes this bar as having woody and earthy notes. It also mentions that spices are a big part of Dominican Republic cuisine. When I visited D.R. while in high school, I actually stayed away from spicy foods because I didn’t like it back then. I can’t say I can personally testify or relate to this, but this bar can make up for that loss. The ingredients for this bar include cloves, cassia, nugmeg and cardamom. The cacao is the Criollo strain and comes straight from Cacao Prieto’s own farm in D.R.
An amazingly sharp, loud snap happened when I broke a piece off. The chocolate definitely smelled spicy, but a get-wrapped-in-a-blanket warm. You could also imagine the spicy smell you experience around the holidays. I could immediately taste that spice along with those woody notes that was mentioned on the website. The spice remained throughout my whole bite as the chocolate melted easily and evenly. I originally liked this bar because the spice didn’t smack me in the face. It’s not too subtle and not too strong.
I really wanted to try the Passion Fruit Crunch bar, but it’s been sold out every time I’ve checked. Instead, I went to the Orchid bar. Besides cacao, raw cane sugar and cacao butter, this bar includes orchid oil. I mostly smelled earthiness from the chocolate. The chocolate tasted earthy and some astringency developed as my bite melted. I could barely taste a sweet, floral flavor. The aftertaste was light floral and still a little astringent. The website says that the flavor notes are berry, burgundy, chamomile and orange blossom. Even though my experience wasn’t the same as the website, the light floral flavor was nice since it’s now spring.
Just reading the story about Cacao Prieto, knowing now that the Prieto family has been growing cacao for over 100 years and that these bars are made using the sugar and cacao grown by family, it makes me appreciate the chocolate even more knowing that so much history lies behind the Prieto name.
Cacao Prieto: Made in Brooklyn, NY
Other chocolate makers from New York (it’s pretty long!):
Bronx Grrl Chocolate
Dark Forest Chocolate Makers
Fine & Raw
Raw Chocolate Love
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.