The "Birthplace" of Chocolate
Guatemalan chocolate has a rich history. The very first documented use of cacao in the world was by the Mayan Indians in the region now known as Guatemala. In fact, both the words “cacao” and “chocolate” come from Mayan words. The Mayans mostly consumed the cacao as a drink, but it also served as an important form of currency and seen as having health benefits.
Though only a small percentage is exported, around 250,000 farmers grow cacao in Guatemala today. Processing chocolate into bars and other artisanal sweets was developed elsewhere (mostly Europe) and is relatively new to Guatemala, but the last decades have held a sort of artisanal chocolate boom there, bringing the country to an even greater appreciation of this commodity in its midst.
Little Guatemala offers a 70% dark Guatemalan chocolate bar made of Guatemalan cacao from the region of Alta Verapaz. The only other ingredient added is organic cane sugar to create a treat that is both simple and interesting – uncomplicated ingredients that allow you to actually taste the nuances of the cacao. The bars are 2 oz and can be purchased online, at our coffee shop, or in several stores in Morganton, NC. The stores that sell our chocolate bars are: Food Matters and Morganton General Store.
So what goes into making a chocolate bar from the cacao bean? Here’s a brief introduction to what goes on behind the scenes at Little Guatemala!