World's Most Expensive Chocolate

To'ak chocolate is the world's most expensive pure dark chocolate. There are other more expensive chocolates but, at $260 (£169), this serious slab of coco hit is without doubt the choc-ing real deal. To'ak translates to 'earth' and 'tree' in ancient Ecuadorian dialects.The company of the same name who produce the limited edition bar have produced a mere 574 bars for their Rain Harvest 2014 - using only fine grade cacao, courtesy of 14 growers on the coast of Ecuador and taking 36 steps to create. Each 50g (1,76 oz) bar contains eighty one per-cent pure cacao mass and the rest is raw cane sugar, both organic. The cacao beans used are from the famed Arriba region, in Piedra de Plata. The 100-120 year-old trees found here pre-date the genetic hybridisation of cacao that occurred in the wake of the 1916 outbreak of Witch's Broom disease. This offers cacao beans of unparalleled richness and flavour. To appreciate fully the chocolate's aroma on the nose it is meant to be consumed via wooden tongs tasting utensils. Company founders, Jerry Toth and Carl Schweizer met in 2013 and have been working together on the project since the very beginning of their friendship. They founded the company in 2014 : 'to preserve and honour these plants together with the local community of 14 small growers'. The focus of their work is preserving the last relics of an ancient cacao variety. Their production is 100% ecological and their cacao and sugar is organic certified. The cacao of To'ak is Fair-Trade certified. They pay the highest price per sack in Ecuador to the cacao growers and five percent of the profits are donated to Third Millenium Alliance, a natural resort that preserves one of the last cloud forests on Ecuador's coast. Chicago-born, Toth relocated to South America in 2001 and co-founded a rainforest conservation foundation in Ecuador, called Third Millennium Alliance, where he also continues to serve as director. The foundation's flagship project is the creation and - Ecuador - Wednesday 4th March 2015 (25 Pictures)


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