You can start straight away by trying some of the superb chocolate creations obtained from Chontalpa cocoa, and – only the – learn about its history. Or, you can first find out all there is to know about this extraordinary chocolate, and be prepared and curious when you have your first bite. Either way, you will discover a passion that is certainly to your taste.
Just below the Tropic of Cancer, to the south of the Gulf of Mexico, in the State of Tabasco, whose very name evokes a land of decisive character, nature and the years have worked together to produce the planet’s best cocoa. The region of Mexico in question is called Chontalpa, and is one of the places that first produced creole cocoa, the rarest and most prestigious cocoa variety in the world. Here, the cocoa beans, known as cabosse, start the long journey that will see them ripen and dried before being transported over the ocean where they will be processed to produce an unarguably top quality chocolate.
Cocoa’s most dangerous enemy is not some parasite or insect, but speculation. To protect this oasis of excellence from deforestation and the infiltration of economic and financial powers, Slow Food has created a line of defence, protecting cultivation and local producers.
Guido Gobino, in turn, has joined Slow Food and the producers of Chontalpa to ensure a collaboration that is free of intermediaries and to guarantee support to local workers by recognising an equal price of the raw materials. A “short” and controlled supply chain that brings advantages to all.
Bad weather has not been a solely Italian or European complaint. Over the past few years, the American Continent and the area of Chontalpa have also been hit by usual weather – especially the last couple of seasons. Excessive rainfall has affected all harvests, including cocoa. Nevertheless, the knowledge that they were not alone has allowed local producers to organise themselves to modify the usual methods and times for the harvest, cooperate to find solutions and do everything they can to help the beans dry as they had risked deteriorating.
This resulted in a harvest that, in the end, satisfies the most crucial quality criteria, despite the negative start. All merit of the heroic Chontalpa cultivators, the cooperation between the families of the producers, the consultation and supervision of Slow Food and – last but not least – the certainty that local companies could count on Guido Gobino’s loyal help from the very beginning of their collaboration.
Special cocoa requires special recipes and processes. Nature’s work, Slow Food’s supervision, the harvest of Chontalpa’s producers unites with Gobino’s fifty-year experience in chocolate art, their ability to evaluate each individual batch of cocoa beans at a glance and the maniacal attention in ad hoc analyses. Gobino toast the cocoa beans in their laboratory, applying methods appropriate for the unique characteristics of this exclusive raw material. Bringing forth specialities that transmit the intact flavour and character of Chontalpa cocoa: mini chocolates, chocolate bars, hot chocolate powder and chocolate-covered cocoa beans with an unmistakable aroma and unforgettable taste.
Guido Gobino’s Chontalpa Chocolate range, presented in an innovative, fully sustainable packaging that is created from sugarcane leftovers and completely glue-free, consists of:
Photo: credits ©Luca Rinaldini e ©Archivio Slow Food