It's no secret, we LOVE really good chocolate — in all kinds of forms — here at Pretty Things & Cool Stuff (Just do a search on "chocolate").
When we travel, one of the things on our must-do list is to seek out and enjoy artisanal chocolate, as well as those from some of the world's most-respected chocolatiers. We also seek to learn as much as we can about this irresistible food that we turn to for everything from comfort and well being to joy and celebration. And don't forget sharing, especially sharing!
Peppermint and chocolate —oh how yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!
We were very impressed with 5 Mile Chocolate's organic, bean-to-bar Peppermint Hot Chocolate / Drinking Chocolate from the very first sip.
We really weren't surprised, given the great attention 5 Mile Chocolate gives to sourcing the highest quality, organic cacoa beans from sustainable farms throughout the world and to the craft of turning those beans into this incredibly yummy peppermint hot chocolate /drinking chocolate made in small batches.
They also show their support for the hard work and deep, ongoing commitment to excellence and quality of the farmers they work with by paying them well above commodity and Fair Trade prices. And yes, we believe you can taste the return on that investment in every delicious sip.
5 Mile Chocolate's Peppermint Hot Chocolate / Drinking Chocolate is made from the only two things needed for great chocolate – 75% cocoa and 25% organic sugar, as well as organic peppermint oil — dark chunks that melt smoothly and can be made into a wonderful cup of hot chocolate. Add less milk of your choice and enjoy a small, dense, cup of drinking chocolate to sip slowly. You also can mix it with your favorite coffee for a truly delish mocha.
THE FINE DETAILS
Ingredients: 75% Dominican Republic/ Oko Caribe chocolate; 25% organic sugar, organic peppermint oil
Type: Central Fermentary
Location: El Cibao Region, Duarte Province, Dominican Republic
Varieties of Cacoa Beans: Trinitario, Criollo, Nacional
Fermentation Style: 5-6 days in 4 tiers of wooden boxes
Drying Style: Solar drying beds
Elevation: 200-350 meters
Harvest Season: March to July
Size: 8 ounces, 227 grams
ABOUT THE CACOA
(That is used to make the chocolate in this yummy Drinking Chocolate)
Cacoa in the Dominican Republic
Cacoa cultivation presently covers around 10% of Dominican Republic’s land area. The large majority of it is grown by small- to medium- sized farms —large commercial plantations are rare.
The Dominican Republic represents the majority of organically cultivated cacao in the world. There are two grades of cacao in the Dominican Republic: Sanchez, which refers to unfermented cacao sold to commodity markets, and Hispaniola, which refers to cacao that has been treated to controlled fermentation.
The varieties found on the island are today are Venezuelan Criollo, Trinitario, Nacional of Ecuador and hybrids with a high presence of Trinitarios and Nacional of Ecuador.
Oka Caribe Fermentary
Öko Caribe is a fermentary founded in 2006 by Gualberto Torrejon and Adriano Rodriguez, two cacao professionals with extensive experience in cacao production throughout Latin America.
Since its inception, Öko Caribe has been purchasing wet beans from smallholder farmers and fermenting and drying them at their centralized processing location in the Duarte Province of the Dominican Republic.
Öko Caribe currently works with 165 farmers who are formed into regional base organizations which receive training and funding. All pods are pre-selected prior to opening as a part of Öko Caribe’s quality protocol.
Öko Caribe ensures that all of the wet beans it purchases arrive to the fermentation center in less than 6 hours. They are all fermented in a cascading 4-box tier system. Fermentation lasts for 5-6 days, and can be tailored to customer's speciﬁcations. Given the humid, tropical climate with frequent rains, Öko Caribe uses solar tunnel drying houses to dry their beans to 7% moisture.
ABOUT 5 MILE CHOCOLATE
You have a right to know what is in your chocolate.
Your question, “What’s in my chocolate?” is at the crux of who we are at Five Mile. The short answer is “cacao and organic sugar,” but you’re not really looking for the short answer, are you?
With roots in coffee and the sweeter side of the culinary world, we were enticed by the idea of building craft chocolate in Dallas — from the heart of the Oak Cliff neiborhood — not only as an opportunity for creation, but as an invitation to join an economy of good work.
5 Mile believes that what's in your chocolate goes beyond the ingredients written on the package. It’s the mutual exchange and relationship that begins at the farm and extends to your hand. Because chocolate should be a treat. It should be trustworthy. That kind of chocolate transcends, creating something better.