Cuisine - - CRISPY BITS -

lat­est choco­late maker to emerge in New Zealand’s blos­som­ing craft choco­late scene and he’s al­ready turn­ing heads with his ex­quis­ite and unique bars, all of which are cre­ated in his tiny home-fac­tory in Mahu­rangi. Along with his wife Janelle, who looks af­ter the design, il­lus­tra­tion and brand­ing, David has just launched Foundry Choco­late, a mi­cro-batch choco­late com­pany ded­i­cated to pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity, sin­gle-ori­gin choco­late.

Af­ter sourc­ing ca­cao beans from all cor­ners of the globe, from Ecuador to Pa­pua New Guinea, David spent two years hon­ing his craft and per­fect­ing the art of ‘two in­gre­di­ent’ choco­late (con­tain­ing only ca­cao and su­gar). “I love the re­mark­able flavours that can be ac­cen­tu­ated with just two in­gre­di­ents. People con­tinue to be amazed that there are no other flavours added yet they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing all these dif­fer­ent tast­ing notes: from flo­ral to cit­rus to honey to caramel to warm spices – which is just the per­son­al­ity of the ca­cao com­ing through and our healthy ob­ses­sion for the preser­va­tion of prove­nance.”

These dis­tinc­tive and vi­brant tast­ing notes in David’s choco­late are a joy to dis­cover, and the ex­cep­tional qual­ity of the choco­late is the re­sult of years of trial and er­ror, metic­u­lously test­ing dif­fer­ent roast­ing pro­files, grind­ing tech­niques and conch­ing times. When you make choco­late in such small batches it al­lows for much greater con­trol over ev­ery step of the process. “I’ve been known to set alarms to check how a choco­late batch is go­ing in the mid­dle of the night – fac­tors like hu­mid­ity, tem­per­a­ture and the beans them­selves are all on­go­ing vari­ables that on a mi­cro level you can re­spond to very quickly.”

As for find­ing the best beans to work with, David sources cer­tain ori­gins from eth­i­cal dis­trib­u­tors, such as Merid­ian Ca­cao and Un­com­mon Ca­cao in the USA, while oth­ers he buys di­rectly from the source, such as his Pa­pua New Guinea beans from the Goodyear fam­ily on Karkar Island. “Deal­ing di­rect is very re­ward­ing as you’re deal­ing with the ac­tual per­son re­spon­si­ble for grow­ing the ca­cao, and you know you’re pay­ing them a fair price for their ca­cao beans that re­flects all the hard work put into grow­ing and pre­par­ing it.”

Foundry Choco­late is one of sev­eral craft choco­late mak­ers to launch in New Zealand over the past cou­ple of years, and with an in­creas­ing pub­lic aware­ness of this new level of qual­ity and de­li­cious­ness that’s avail­able in the choco­late world, not to men­tion a grow­ing de­mand for eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able prod­ucts, it seems like this lit­tle move­ment is des­tined for big things. There’s never been a more ex­cit­ing time to be a choco­late lover. / Foundrychoco­late.co.nz / Luke Owen Smith (the­choco­late­bar.nz)

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