Product overview: Chocolate products

A brief history of single origin chocolate

When Cortez discovered the Aztecs' cacahuatl, they had been drinking this cocoa-based beverage for at least a thousand years, cultivating a domesticated variety of Theobroma cacao known as criollo, native to Central and South America. Its slim oblong pods contain pure white aromatic beans that are the source of a particularly prized chocolate. However, the plant is fragile and grows relatively few pods under highly specific conditions.

Once established in the new world, the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch brought cocoa to their tropical colonies overseas. But, struggling with the fragile criollo, planters relied on a different cacao variety from Amazonia known as forastero, which means "foreigner." It is hardier, more productive and travels well. Its beans are purple inside, unlike the white criollo.

In the early 1700s, a Caribbean calamity resulted in a third variety of Theobroma cacao. Historians are uncertain whether a major hurricane or deadly blight wiped out Trinidad's criollo trees, but in any case they were replaced with a hybrid between the two already known varieties, called the trinitario, which has since found its way around the equator.

Single plantation organic chocolate nibs

We feature cacao nibs, which are roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small bits - the essence of chocolate. Excellent mixed with fruit, cereals, yogurt, ice cream, honey or simply plain.

The cacao nibs come from our source in Venezuela.

Montezuma's award-winning organic British chocolate

Ex-lawyers turned chocolate entrepreneurs, Helen and Simon Pattinson founded Montezuma’s in 2000, making their chocolate by hand in Brighton. Constant experimentation and development have created chocolates which now lead the UK market. Travels in Central and South America cultivated relationships with cocoa producers and chocolate culture. Winners of numerous British and international awards, Montezuma's now produces over 200 chocolate items.

For confectionary application, Montezuma's makes couvertures in button form, packed in 2 kg boxes:

Organic Dark chocolate, 73% cacao - organic, no milk; good, strong full flavor. Organic cocoa primarily from a co-operative of over 9000 small plantations in the Dominican Republic, where partners are paid above market and even fair-trade prices. Just three ingredients: Organic cocoa solids (73%), organic sugar & organic vanilla.

Milk chocolate, 34% cacao - from organic 22% milk; milder, creamier taste.

White chocolate - from organic sugar, cocoa butter and whole milk powder, contains organic vanilla and soy lechitin. Does not use any vegetable oils, only pure cacao butter, which gives it a sweet and creamy flavor.

Spice blends for chocolate

We also carry a select range of spice blends for pastry and chocolate. Currently we feature:

Sands of Fire - Mixture of floral notes of rose and lavender with subtle spice from cardamom, mace, cinnamon and cloves. Recommended 0.5-1% mixture with chocolate.