DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – The five-year-old homegrown Malagos Chocolate, a company owned by the Puentespina family, has continued its winning streak at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London when it won silver for its single-origin unsweetened chocolate, the only one from Asia that bagged the prestigious award under the Plain Hot Chocolate Category.
The other silver winners in the same category are Akesson’s Choc Drops Brazil 75% Cocoa Organic, Akesson’s Choc Drops Madagascar 100% Cocoa Organic, and The Chocolate Quarter Tetteh Drinking Chocolate in the United Kingdom.
The Academy of Chocolate made the announcement on June 5. Full results of the Academy of Chocolate Awards 2017 are available on its website.
All entries were judged by a pool of judges composed of international journalists, chefs, pastry chefs and experts in chocolate and food, based on product’s appearance, depth of aroma, flavor, length and complexity.
In a press statement Thursday, chocolate maker Rex Puentespina, director for sales and marketing of the Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., attributed the victory to the “hard work and dedication that the farmers put in the preparation of the cocoa bean before it even becomes chocolate.”
This has brought to five the company’s major international awards. The Academy of Chocolate awarded the company silver under Drinking Chocolate category for its unsweetened chocolate in 2016 and bronze under Best Unflavoured Drinking Chocolate in April 2015; the Great Taste Awards in London gave two out of three stars to Malagos unsweetened chocolate in 2016; and another silver for the Malagos Dark Chocolate won during World Drinking Chocolate Competition organized by the International Chocolate Awards in October 2015 in Hannover, Germany.
Puentespina said their “chocolates are tree-to-bar”, meaning the process of making the products, from planting, growing, fermentation, drying, sorting, roasting, and production, is done right at their farm in Calinan District where it runs its own Bureau of Plant Industry-certified cacao nursery at the foothills of Mount Talomo.
The company also supplies seedlings, seeds, and scions all-over Mindanao.
He said the tree-to-bar chocolates possess a more distinctive and pronounced taste as the chocolate can be traced back to the unique characteristics of the cacao beans.
“We grow Trinitario clones, a cross between the Criollo and Forastero varieties, specifically and predominantly the UF 18, BR 25 and PBC 123 clones. The beans we grow are considered as fine flavor beans. These beans are manually harvested then fermented on the farm to further enhance naturally the complex flavor of cocoa,” he said.
Being in agriculture for three decades, the Puentespina family went into chocolate business in 2012, with premium single-origin cocoa liquor as its first product until it branched out to Malagos 65%, 72%, and 85% Dark Chocolates, and Malagos Roasted Cocoa Nibs.
Its chocolates are exported to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, London, Australia, New York and other parts of the United States. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)