Chocolate is the real deal
Is that chocolate bar you just bought in a corner-store really deserving of being called chocolate?
Well, Jhon Serrano of Choco Punto by Mabel near the beach resort destination of La Romana, Dominican Republic, says that may not be the case and he’s in a good position to know.
Choco Punto by Mabel is a chocolate manufacturer that proudly displays the many awards it’s won in both the Dominican Republic and abroad, and makes its products on site, selling them in the same storefront location.
“People don’t know how chocolate is made. What we do here is teach people how to eat real chocolate,” Serrano says of visitors.
Choco Punto by Mabel — which welcomes visitors, both those wanting to buy chocolate and those wanting to learn about making it — is reportedly the smallest chocolate factory in the Dominican Republic, producing about 400 kilos of the confection a month, with the manufacturing process taking about 2.5 weeks “from the (cacao) bean to the bar.”
Both white and dark chocolate are made on site, with Serrano reporting that all of Choco Punto by Mabel’s dark chocolate contains at least 50% cacao, the source of chocolate.
In contrast, chocolate bars sold elsewhere may be less than 20% cacao, with the likes of sugar and butter accounting for the rest, leading Serrano to question whether it really is worthy of the chocolate moniker.
Indeed, some chocolate bar manufacturers label their products “chocolate-flavoured” rather than chocolate, he adds.
The varying chocolate levels in Choco Punto by Mabel offerings — all of which are organic and are free of palm oil, with palm oil production leading to tropical deforestation — reach up to dark chocolate that is 100% cacao, with cacao’s naturally bitter taste evident in that sugar-free product. Serrano suggests that chocolate containing nothing but cacao can be agreeably paired with the likes of cigars, wine, whiskey and rum.
(Pure cacao is also unquestionably healthy, given the absence of sugar and chocolate containing antioxidants, he adds.)
Meanwhile, Serrano says if someone offers him a chocolate bar bought in a corner-store the offer will be politely declined.
“I work in a chocolate factory,” he says. “I don’t need more chocolate.”
More information can be found at chocopunto.com.
Santo Domingo-based Arajet links both Montreal and Toronto with Santo Domingo, which is close to La Romana.