Wm. Chocolate – 1 ounce bars
Wm. Chocolate – 1 ounce bars are made from locally sourced cacao that is checked for socially responsible supply methods.
Will Marx, the creator of Wm. Chocolate, is personally involved in the process, to ensure his sourcing is fair.
First, Marx has to separate the shells of the cacao beans from the inner nibs, which will become the chocolate. He puts the beans through a grinder to crush the shells. Then, he uses a sorting device hooked up to a shop vac, blowing air to separate the lighter shells from the heavier nibs.
Next, Marx takes the nibs and slightly grinds them. After heading the beans to about 140 degrees, Marx adds cocoa butter and sugar to the mix. He didn’t want to use white refined sugar, so instead uses sun-dried sugar cane juice from the Himalayas. If he’s making milk chocolate, he adds the milk powder, which he makes himself.
Cacao beans, much like coffee beans, can have strikingly different flavors based on soils, cacao trees, fermentation and roasting processes. Some have notes of jam, honey or fruit. Marx’s Bolivian bean bars have notes of banana and butterscotch, while his bars made from Ghanaian beans are reminiscent of coffee and wood smoke.
Marx includes tasting notes on his labels, emphasizing that this is just a place for people to start when exploring a new culinary territory.
Taste is not the only benefit of the bean-to-bar process. Sixty percent of cacao comes from West Africa, where child labor has become a growing concern. A 2015 report from Tulane University found two million children working in hazardous cacao production in West Africa. At this point, major chocolate companies can’t guarantee their cacao is not made with child labor, according to Green America, a nonprofit advocating for ethical consumerism.
See our blog post from February 2018: Wm. Chocolate Visits Fromagination