These bars were gifted to me by my mother since The Cacao Bean Project is based out of Sandy, UT. I’m already intrigued that they list the ingredients on the front of the bar rather than the back, and their address with phone number are included. Their package design is unique in putting all information on the front.

I had a hard time finding much information about The Cacao Bean Project, and their website doesn’t provide much backstory. One article posted a year ago mentions that the company was started by husband and wife team, Lance and Shannon Brown. It also mentions that Lance had been making chocolate prior to starting the company and he had been pushing for a chocolate making guild where makers can time-share equipment so “companies could save money with combined purchasing power”.

Another article mentions Lance saying his beans are “wood-smoked” rather than roasted. The cacao for making the Madagascar 74% bar are hickory smoked, as noted on the packaging. Sure enough the bar had a light smoky scent similar to bacon. My bite took a long time to melt, but eventually a mellow bright citrus flavor developed alongside a subtle smoky flavor. At the end of my bite I tasted mostly smokiness. Caputo’s tasted bright citrus, berry in the middle and then smokiness.

I have never tried a bar made with cacao sourced from Caranero. A quick Google search shows that Caranero is an island that’s part of Panama. This bar smelled like roasted nuts and earthy. The flavor started out sour and a little sharp like maybe blue cheese. As my bite melted I experienced acidity with roasted nut. The acidity mellowed out at the end and I was left with that nutty flavor. My experience was completely different from Caputo’s where they listed Deep cacao flavor, subtle cherry, floral with a hint of cinnamon” as their tasting notes.

Both bars were a bit dry for me, but otherwise I liked the subtlety of the Madagascar bar better. The Caranero was very interesting in that my tasting experience was completely different than Caputo’s. I’m curious to see how this company grows and what other bars they are/will produce.

The Cacao Bean Project: Made in Sandy, UT

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Though at the time of writing this post I am working in the chocolate industry, my work in the chocolate industry has no affect on my personal thoughts and experiences with the chocolate products shared on Time To Eat Chocolate. 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.