Bar to bar, the reinvention of the chocolate bar
New culinary trends can be glimpsed on the table with the movements Tree to bar, Bean to bar and Bar to bar. The latter means “from the bar to the bar” and that consists in taking finished chocolate to make bars stuffed or flavoured with ingredients ranging from the commonest to the most surprising: sea salt, hot pepper, orange, lemon, sarrapia. Imagination is the limit.
Bar to bar consists of making bars with new flavours or concepts, allowing the expert chocolate maker to play with their tastings. To carry it out is essential to have a base chocolate with a neutral flavour and some additional ingredients to bringing it the combination of new flavours and aromas, “Diego Ceballos says, a chocolate maker from Cacao de Origen.
Along with this vision is Victor Millán’s one, who points out that in the Bar to bar it is chosen the best tablet in order to alter it and make something as wonderful as a flavoured chocolate, which allows to be more specific with the combinations.
“It’s so important what you can achieve with this process that you could even take the consumer back his childhood,”Millán says. “For example when I make a chocolate with raisins and bacon, or lemon, like the one made by Chocolate Mantuano, people have written us saying that they have made a pairing with a lemon balm infusion and reminded them their grandmothers.”
That’s what Bar to bar involves, to give an added value to a good chocolate bar, to be more sensitive, to touch heartstrings and, to attain that the whole world increasingly falls in love with Venezuelan cacao, he explains.
For Millán, it is possible to conquer the world through cocoa if love towards the seed is cultivated, if its care and promotion are taught with devotion, and if joint work is done among all those interested in highlighting the grain potential, whose genetic properties are unique in the world.
Identity and taste like Venezuela
“Nobody outside Venezuela has said that a cocoa or chocolate tastes like mango or village, or that it smells like coast, for example. That only happens in Venezuela. No other country dances or sings to cacao as we do in our land. That’s love. In Venezuela we have made great works with the Bar to bar by the hand of teachers like Giovanni Conversi, who has created Chocolate Mantuano “and has revolutionised the industry through his tablets” Millán points out.
Although at a first glance it could be said that the main protagonist of the Bar to bar is the chocolate maker, it should be noticed that the producer also plays an important role in this area. His care and dedication to harvesting this precious seed should be taken into account, which together with care given to the ingredients added to it floods the new chocolate creation with new flavours.
In this way, Diego Ceballos acknowledges it when he emphasizes that the producer and the chocolate maker who processes the cocoa are equally important within the process of making a chocolate bar.
“To know about chocolate you have to learn the origins of cocoa, how it is grown and processed. This knowledge is given by the producer. In the end, the chocolate is for the consumer a pleasure to taste or a pleasure to learn. Therefore, we must learn about cocoa, history and rediscover the way how we consume it. Be curious, taste it! “He exclaims.
Ceballos and Millan’s invitations to know and go in depth into these new gastronomic tendencies are joined from Vivaelcacao.com, with the aim of emphasizing the potential of this aromatic and delicious seed, acknowledging the wonderful work of those who are involved in its handling and continuing to boost cocoa and chocolate culture in Venezuela.
By Joselina Rodríguez