Carrying on in the same vein as yesterday’s awesome bit about Momotombo, I’ve just found another funky South American chocolate company and one that’s been selling in the UK for quite a while too.

El Rey are an entirely Venezualan (where all my favourite chocolate comes from, yay!) company and even though I haven’t had their chocolate yet I am very impressed with their ethics. Since it’s a Venezualan company and exclusively uses locoal cocoa growers who they pay a price way above the market the growers don’t get screwed around anywhere near as much as they would dealing with a European giant. They’ve also set up a co-operative which helps to educate the growers about how to get the best out of their cocoa and to deal with the pricing.  As if that weren’t enough, they’ve got a very promising sounding mission statement thing on their website with cool things about keeping the environment for future generations of Venezuelans and suchlike, going to take a little bit more rooting around to see if I can find any independent proof for that, but for the moment it sounds really lovely…. maybe if I wrote them a nice email the founder will send one back to me… hmmm… Apparently their Icoa white chocolate is fiendishly good and is made from non-deodorised (I hate the double negative too, but it sounds better than odoured) coca butter so it really tastes quite chocolatey and considered the best white chocolate you can buy by loads of important people. I really should stay more in touch with the chocolate scene, I feel so out of it.

Interestingly enough, after looking round a couple wholesale sites and American sites, it looks like it’s a fair bit cheaper than Valrhona stuff and that would be quite a nice plus. Quite surprising really since the composition seems fairly similar from the info that they’ve got on their website and they only use a single origin Caranero bean, which if you’re Domori means “pay more for this biatch!!” if you’re me means “what the hell is a caranero bean?” but if you’re El Rey means “this stuff rocks so why would we use anything else?”

I’ve got a day off from the shoe shop tomorrow so it’s going to be off to look for El Rey chocolate. I may also have to have a short detour to search for funky trainers and blue jeans so that I’m not stuck wearing the same stuff over and over again at the job… one violently ill and projectile vomiting child could really cause problems. I’ve heard that Waitrose sometimes stock El Rey, though I’ve never seen it there and that Fresh and Wild do big cooking blocks broken up into chunks, I’ll go hunting and I’m sure it’ll turn up somewhere. If that fails then seventy percent have them in their shop, but waiting for the delivery’s going to be agonising… when it comes to chocolate I have all the patience of a hampster with a double espresso and ADD.

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