We are very excited to introduce Idilio Origins chocolate bars to our shelves. Idilio was the first Swiss chocolate company to specialize in finding the best cocoa plantations to make single-origin, single-plantation bars. Working hand in hand with farmers, Idilio oversees everything from harvesting to fermentation before the beans are then sent to Switzerland where the beans are transformed into beautifully refined bars of chocolate.
It is thought that the highly prized Criollo cacao bean originated in Southern Venezuela and, to this day, the cocoa with the highest proportion of Criollo genes are found in Venezuela. For this reason, Idilio has focused all of its attention on the plantations of Venezuela, highlighting the intricacies of terroir to a level that we have not yet seen before. Pascal Wirth of Idilio Origins explains why they focus so much on the minute details of terrior:
“The location, right down to the unit of a single farm, hacienda or finca has a significant influence on the quality and taste of the cocoa as a result of the soil conditions, the microclimate and the specific regional varieties. The second important quality factor is the often neglected fermentation according to type and expert, gentle sun-drying of the cocoa beans. Appropriate fermentation helps the delicate flavors to unfold to perfection.”
Julia, our chocolate buyer, first found out about Idilio Origins when Andrew, the General Manager at our New York shop, mentioned that a customer had stopped by asking about an amazing Swiss chocolate that she couldn’t find anywhere in the US (she had sampled it while traveling in Switzerland). The customer was SURE that we would love it and, after Andrew had passed word along, Julia picked up the gauntlet and began researching Idilio.
When asked about the discovery, Julia remarked, “I’ve found that our customers are often the best resource when looking for new products, so I looked into Idilio. I was initially really impressed by their mission, design and selection. After many, many emails, cross-continent chocolate sampling and assisting them with their FDA registration – they had never sold in the United States before – I was thrilled when Idilio finally arrived on our shelves. Their goal of highlighting the nuances between different plantations while using expert chocolate making techniques made them a perfect fit for our chocolate selection. On a more personal level, I am so proud to introduce them to the American market!”
The classic smooth and refined style of European chocolate-making is very apparent in Idilio’s chocolate bars, as is the clear devotion to the study of origin and terroir. Idilio Origins is a chocolate to be tasted, studied, and above all, enjoyed!