Translator: Bella Borahm Hur Vinha
Reviewer: Elisabeth Buffard Imagine if all of the wine in the world
was made from just one grape. Let’s say Merlot. 90% of the wine
made from one grape, from one part of the world, sent to a few industrial chocolate makers to be made into a beverage
that we all associate with the flavor of wine. Maybe the other 10%
has some independence in their exploring their hundreds of
different varietals of wine out there. But for the most part,
when we thought wine we thought this one flavor. This is what it’s like
in the chocolate industry at the moment. This 100 billion-dollar industry
is dominated by one type of bean – the Forestero bean. Forestero grown in a couple of countries,
mostly West Africa, and sent to industrial chocolate makers where it’s made into a product that
we all come to associate with chocolate. Now, I’m not suggesting that
you can’t make great wine from Merlot, or that the Ivory Coast and Ghana don’t produce beautiful chocolate. All I’m suggesting is that there’s
a whole world of chocolate out there and it’s incredible. Anywhere 10 degrees
north or south of the equator, you can grow cacao and there are hundreds
of different strains to discover. I first had my first real
bean-to-bar craft chocolate. A friend bought over a bar from
a San Francisco chocolate factory called Dandelion Chocolate. They’d made this chocolate bar
right from the beans – beans that they source from Madagascar. This chocolate bar
just had two ingredients. 70% beans, 30% sugar and nothing else. So I snapped off a couple of squares, popped them in my mouth, and a few moments later,
a party started. (Laughter) Candied strawberry, black forest, plum. All these incredible flavors that I had no idea existed in chocolate. So I had to look at the wrapper,
and sure enough, it was just 70%
organic Madagascan beans and 30% sugar.
The flavors I was tasting had to have been coming
from the bean itself. Up until this moment, I thought I was in the
serious chocolate business and I do have a good chocolate business which has started in 2004
and still going strong, selling in the UK, Australia
and New Zealand. But my ego was somewhat undone
by these two squares of chocolate. I had a little pang of impostor syndrome. So, phase two
of my chocolate journey started. After 13 years in Melbourne,
I decided to pack up and try and find
the best cocoa beans in the world. This led me – my heart, actually –
led me to Peru. It was here, up the sacred valley that I visited a cocoa farm
for the first time. Meeting this family and walking through
their organic food forest was a deeply inspiring
and life-changing experience. It was here, in Peru, that I’d tried my first fresh cocoa bean
straight from the pod. This cocoa bean…
the beans are in there and the white pulp is
beautifully sweet around it. This is the highest quality varietal
in the world. This is what they call the Criollos. So there’s the Forestero,
which is coffee terms is like Robusta, and the Criollo, which in coffee terms
I suppose is more like the Arabica. This is a Criollo Porcelana
organic cocoa bean. So it’s deliciously sweet and aromatic. It was here in Peru that I also made
my first chocolate bar from the bean and learnt the process,
and it was pretty awful. (Laughter) After some more fact finding
and traveling around visiting other bean-to-bar
chocolate makers and by a bean-to-bar, I mean
a small craft chocolate maker that makes the entire chocolate from getting the beans in,
roasting them, hand-sorting them, right through to the finished product
under one roof. Rather than buying
industrial blocks of chocolate or buttons to melt, to make other things,
which is the skill of a chocolatier, we’re chocolate makers.
We make it from the bean to that point. I decided to move back
to my hometown of Wellington with an ambition to open
New Zealand’s first, open to the public, fair-trade
and organic chocolate factory. At this time, I was lucky enough to meet
master chocolate maker, Rochelle Harrison. Rochelle had been researching
the art and science of making chocolate from the bean
since before it became trendy, and we decided to team up,
and together we opened, in December, just gone,
the Wellington Chocolate Factory. (cheer and applause) Here, you can walk in
and you can see the entire process, from where the beans arrive
to carefully hand-sorting, grinding – there’s Ash pouring
the cocoa nibs into the grinder, molding, the whole process
from bean-to-bar. We’re proud to offer
that level of transparency. There’s no secret or magic
to making good chocolate. It’s simply sourcing great beans
and you’ll make a great chocolate bar. There’s no need to add a lot of flavors because every bean has
their own unique characteristics. So, hands up here who hasn’t tried
a freshly roasted cacao bean? Most of you. That’s great! Okay, so this is where the
mystery packages come in. (rustling) The sound’s a little bit like
a bad magic trick but it’s not. (laughter) It could be. So if you just.. All that rustling.
(laughter) (rustling) So what you’ll find in here are three items. You’ll find a cocoa bean,
which I’d like you to bring out now. And this bean here is one of those
Criollo beans from Peru – the highest quality in the world. So, we’re gonna taste this. If you’re feeling adventurous you can have the whole thing –
the shell and all. Or, you can do both. You crack it like this. Inside are what we call the cacao nibs and now you’ve got a mixture
of the shell and the nib. It’s very good for your.. it’s one of the actual
legitimate super-foods. It’s amazing for your health. It’s a little bit bitter,
a little bit sour. It’s perfect. You can quite quickly see that this is where
all good chocolate comes from. This is the base of what we make
a great chocolate bar from. But I’m not feeling adventurous today so I’ll just put the rest of mine
over there. So, has everybody had a go
tasting their first cacao bean? Great. All right. The next one. I’m gonna ask you to pull out
the packet with the gold sticker. This one here is that very same bean and with a little bit of sugar,
made into chocolate. So we’ve not added anything to it.
It’s just the Peruvian cacao bean. (rustling) So, here’s the gratification. Audiencxe: Yum! Yeah!
(laughter, cheering, clapping) So, there are
a lot of different flavors in there. There’s maybe a bit of fruitiness –
a bit of apricot character. But that’s just the natural flavor
of that bean. Now, I wanted to include
one more chocolate, which is a contrasting chocolate, and just wanted to say that
we didn’t change anything in the making of this next chocolate
you’re about to taste. The only thing that’s changed
is the country that it was grown and the varietal that it is. This is a Trinitario bean grown
in the Carribeans so we’re going 3,000km north and you may notice
it’s a little darker than the first one. It’s got a rich, dark, earthy flavor. A little bit of citrus marmalade, malt. It’s amazing how different it is.
Just being from two different strains of cacao
from two parts of the world, that aren’t that far away from each other. Mmm. (chuckle) Now, the cocoa industry is facing
a little bit of a problem at the moment. There’s a looming supply issue. So, as I mentioned, 90%
of the world’s cacao is Forastero beans and there are a number of issues
facing West Africa at this point. One of the many issues is that the younger people are finding it
unviable to carry on the family farm. There’s a lot more opportunity for them
in the major centers. So, there’s gonna be less people there
to produce the cocoa for the industrial chocolate makers. So what they’re doing to mitigate this is proliferating the lesser-known
cocoa growing regions with this one type of bean
and that’s gonna threathen strains and it’s gonna limit our opportunity to find new and interesting
flavors to explore. I witnessed this firsthand recently
on a trip to Bougainville, which is just off the coast
of Papua New Guinea. I noticed that they’ve got a clone
that they’ve created, which is high-yielding, pest-resistant, loads of beans per hectare. In one sense, they’re putting
a lot of education and money into educating the farmers
to streamline their operations, which can be a good thing.
But ultimately, it’s the industrial chocolate makers
that are doing this so that they can continue
to pay a low price and the workers will ultimately
work very hard for very little return. While I was in Bougainville,
I met a cocoa legend. Some refer to him simply as Mr Cocoa. He’s been in the industry for 40 years. His name is Mr James Rutana and the guy to my left is his neighbor. His name is Gary and he is a cocoa farmer. He’s originally from New Zealand that has been in Bougainville
for 30 years now. So James has had
an incredible 40 years of cocoa. He planted his first tree in 1958. He was appointed chairman
of the Papua Guinea Cocoa Board in 1975. James has worked in the industry
in New York, Ghana and Jamaica. He’s represented
Papua New Guinea cocoa in England and Gary tells me on a couple of occasions that he’s even sat at the Queen’s table
and had dinner. James decided to move back to his homeland
to start a cocoa plantation of his own, which employed 300 people locally. And then a devastating war
broke out in 1990. James and his family fled
to the Solomon Islands and returned in 2002
once the war was over. He’s been rebuilding ever since. We had a cup of tea in his training shed and he was talking to me about
how he’s about to give up. It’s been too hard. These big businesses have left him
by the wayside, taken a lot of his knowledge
from what I can tell. And he’s feeling disheartened. Regardless of the quality of his beans, he’ll get three dollars per kilo,
which is not very much. Three US dollars roughly. So, regardless of the varietal
or the quality, it all gets put into the same vat
to make our confectionary, which you know,
a lot of people consider as chocolate. I bet chocolate as a food. My name is James Rutana.
I’m the owner of this plantation here. It’s a small plantation,
about 100 hectares. I mainly plant cocoa trees
on this plantation. I’m looking at exploring
into another area of the market. One of the areas I’m looking at
is to find a better price for my cocoa that I produce on the plantation. I’m very excited at this point in time. If I can work with
Wellington Chocolate, is it? Gabe: Factory. Wellington Factory.
I’m very interested and excited about working with Wellington Factory. I know there’s a lot of good
that can be shared between us and
Wellington Chocolate Factory. I’m very keen to continue working
on the cocoa plantation to see if I can get a better price
for my cocoa beans. (cheer and applause) As we finished our cup of tea, James and I launched
a bit of a crazy plan. Early next year,
we aim to find a sailing boat where we can sail the first shipment
of two tons of beans directly from Bougainville
into Wellington Harbor and I hope many of you here tonight can be there to welcome James
and the rest of us to help shed a positive light
on Bougainville and to showcase
the autonomous region of Bougainville as a world class cocoa growing region. This might just help.
Cocoa is their main export so it’s very important to them that they get a good price
for their cocoa. I hope that one day, like wine, many of us have our favorite
origin of chocolate, our favorite varietal
and our favorite chocolate makers. I’m looking forward to growing older, by which stage I’ll be closer to knowing
what my favorite flavors are. Like James, who knows what adventures lie
just around the corner. Thank you. (cheer and applause)