Different Regions Lend Chocolate Distinctive Flavors
In the same way that grapes’ region of origin influences the flavor of a resulting wine, cocoa beans from different regions have their own distinctive flavors. This has to do with terroir—that is, the effect that the soil, landscape, and environment have on the flavor of the beans.
So if you’re shopping for a single-origin chocolate bar, here is a cheat sheet for the predominant flavors in bars from just a few areas around the world:
Bright and fruity: Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Madagascar, Vietnam
Nutty: Nicaragua, Venezuela, Grenada
Earthy: Tanzania, Philippines
Smoky: Papua New Guinea (the cocoa beans are dried inside with a fire because it’s too rainy to do it outside)
Illustration © Amber Day
Photograph in book by Sascha Reinking Photography
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