Tree to Bar Chocolate Maker - Vanuatu, city of Port Vila, Efate

Ingredients: cacao beans, cacao butter, sugar, orange peel

Maker`s description:

Orange and Chocolate is an old-time pairing but for a good reason, it is simply nice. Now try it with Vanuatu green oranges and you will get the best of fruits and chocolate. We work our green oranges inclusions from orange peel candied in an orange juice syrup. A classic worth it every cent.

First of all thanks to Gaston Chocolat for generously sent me a few samples to try and honestly review. And secondly, I would like to give you a preamble of their story which is in their own words...

Take a froggy and a crew of fine fellows. Take a love for a faraway archipelago, its people, culture, and generous nature. Take a feel for honest craft and spirited experiencing. Take a taste for beautiful artisan chocolate. And that is how it is done.

Gaston is the name of the founder and Olivier’s grandfather who is their source of inspiration. Indeed:

When the time came to begin this journey of a tree to bar chocolate making in Vanuatu, we choose a name that would carry the very spirit of this entrepreneurship, honest crafting, dedicated passion, and respect for traditions of old and not just a little bit of lust for adventure. A name that would be an everyday reminder of the core values we seek to embody.

They create a place where traditional chocolate craftings meet Vanuatu`s culture. Their chocolate is produced from pure single-origin Vanuatu cocoa working directly with the cacao farmers because the secret of high-quality flavorful chocolate is hidden in the field through the cocoa bean fermentation and drying process. Since the beginning, GC handled the whole harvest and post-harvest process from the fruits on the trees to turn them into chocolate bars. The labels are inspired by the 19th and early 20th monetary notes, maps of the Vanuatu archipelago, and drawings of the Melanesian Culture. Therefore each bar is a celebration of Vanuatu’s unique style.

About the bar, I find it very pleasant and reminiscent of orange chocolate brittle. Despite the thickness and the hard snap, it is smooth and it melts very easily. Aroma and flavor profiles are very similar but what stands out the most is the subtle resinous and dried fruit undertones followed by a prominent earthiness finish and orange bitter aftertaste. An interesting "sweet-no-sweet" inclusion.