Davao-based dark chocolate maker gets star from Great Taste Award

Workers graft cacao seedlings at the Davao City’s nursery in Malagos district. The city has been declared as the “Cacao Capital of the Philippines.” MindaNews file photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 September) – Three Filipino premium dark chocolate makers, one of which is based in Davao City, have been recognized by the Great Taste Awards, the world’s largest food and drink awards organized by the United Kingdom-based The Guild of Fine Food.

According to The Guild of Fine Food website, Rosario’s Delicacies, owned by couple Emmanuel and Mary Grace Belviz from Calinan, Davao City, clinched a one-star Great Taste Award for its unsweetened dark chocolate out of 12,777 products from 106 countries.

The award-giving body described the “unique cocoa liquor tablets” as having “deep rich mahogany color,” which “made a very smooth and velvety drink.”

“An authentic chocolate product that has a genuine raw chocolate flavor and smooth texture. When lightly sweetened, the chocolate flavor is mellow and lasting with gentle liquorice notes,” it added.

Two other Filipino bean-to-bar chocolate makers, Calamba, Laguna-based Auro Chocolate and Metro Manila-based Theo and Philo Chocolate Factory, which source raw cacao beans from Mindanao, were also recognized for their wide array of dark chocolate entries.

For Auro Chocolate, the company won a two-star award for 85% Mana–Single Estate and one-star awards for 42% Milk Chocolate, 77% Dark Chocolate, 85% Regalo-Single Varietal, Peanut Hot Chocolate, 55% Dark Chocolate, and 55% Dark Chocolate with Arabica Coffee.

Theo and Philo Chocolate Factory bagged two-star award for Theo & Philo 60% Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Mint and one-star award 90% Dark Chocolate, 70% Dark Chocolate, and Hot Chocolate.

Early this month, Davao City had been officially declared as the “Cacao Capital of the Philippines,” being the largest cacao producer in the country.

The city produced 2,289 metric tons (MT) or at least 34.15-percent of the total 6,703 MT of dried cacao beans last year based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Davao del Norte came second highest with 1,372 MT, followed by Davao del Sur with 1,163 MT, Davao de Oro with 572.57 MT, and Davao Oriental with 561.57 MT, according to PSA.

The region’s combined cacao production comprised 78.96 percent of the country’s total production of 8,488.60 MT last year. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)