NOTE: We will update availability and estimated ship time after you order. If the time does not work, we will refund your money. Once chocolate has shipped from our distributor, there are no returns, exchanges or cancellations unless there is a defect. If out of stock, email Orders@barefootcoffee.com to be placed on the waitlist.
Nose: Tobacco, caramel, floral, woody.
Palate: Woody, buttery caramel, tobacco, honey, dark fruits, softly floral, earthy, nutty.
Finish: Honey, toffee, earthy, nutty.
To'ak Chocolate is known for having the most expensive chocolates in the world, with some of their single bars costing up to $450! Why? The cacao is grown in Manabi, Ecuador, which is to cacao what Burgundy is to wine. Beans come from the rarest variety, pure 100% Nacional, which is over 5,300 years old. To'ak also promotes sustainability and conservation. Barefoot is proud to offer these one-of-a-kind chocolates.
Story: Ecuador’s native son, Oswaldo Guayasamín, is one of Latin America’s most celebrated artists. His work has been on display in many of the finest museums and galleries in the world. In 1976, Guayasamín and his children created the Fundación Guayasamín to honor Ecuador’s rich indigenous culture and history. In service of this mission, To’ak and Fundación Guayasamín co-created a special edition of dark chocolate that pays tribute to the ancient history and culture of Ecuador in a way that has never been done before.
To’ak has never been satisfied with simply making chocolate. Ultimately they present to the world a work of art, and dark chocolate is their medium of expression. One element of Guayasamín's style that has particularly drawn their attention is his depiction of sharp contrasts. Guayasamín painted about cruelty as well as tenderness, life and death, desperation and hope. He explored both the light and the darkness within the human condition.
With each edition of chocolate, To'ak's goal is to faithfully express the unique aromas and flavor profile of Nacional cacao. But just as a person cannot be defined by any single characteristic or mood, Nacional cacao has many different faces. In 2015, To'ak launched two expressions of chocolate, each representing different ends of the spectrum in terms of flavor profile and character. The 2015 “Light” edition was soft, subtle, nuanced. The 2015 “Dark” edition was raw, powerful, unapologetic.
Both of these editions were released to the public in 2015, but separately, allowing people the opportunity to experience both sides of the Nacional flavor personality. For the Art Series, To'ak created their very first blend, using chocolate aged from the 2015 harvest.
They integrated “Light” and “Dark” editions into a single unified expression, called the Duality Blend. This metaphor extends beyond flavor and can also been interpreted in the context of their work on the land. In the drawing by Guayasamín that accompanies this edition, there is an indigenous man that has been beaten down by cruelty, and yet he is planting a tree. In spite of the suffering that he bears, what he offers is an expression of hope.
Something similar can be seen in the destruction of habitat and the loss of ancient food varieties. Over 93% of the world's food varieties have been lost over an 80-year span. The next in line is Ancient Nacional cacao in Ecuador, which is on the brink of extinction. Under the shadow of destruction, To'ak is currently planting Ancient Nacional cacao seedlings, to give new life to this culinary treasure. This is their hope for the future.
To metaphorically describe his connection to the past, Guayasamín once said that his hands have been painting for more than five thousand years. Interestingly, Nacional cacao also traces its roots back by roughly 5,000 years in Ecuador. In this rare edition of chocolate, To'ak celebrates that which is far older than any of us and transcends time. They are celebrating the human experience in all of its many shades.
Pairing Recommendations: Sweet fortified wines like Port and Pedro Ximenez sherry work beautifully. Zacapa 23 rum, triple-distilled Irish whiskey, and sherry-finished single malt Scotch whisky are also excellent pairing partners. Bowmore 1965, a fascinating Islay single malt, paired particularly well with this edition. In the realm of cheeses, Gruyère, Comté, aged Gouda, and Brie are recommended.
Size: 1.75 oz (price is per bar)
Ingredients: 77% cacao beans, cane sugar
NOTE: We do not ship in summer or hot weather but do have a wide selection at our cafes.