Info: 80 g per Bar; Available in Several Types
Alter Eco is a San Francisco-based natural foods distributor dedicated to working with small-scale farmers throughout the world to institute non-GMO, Organic, Fair Trade, and sustainable practices. These dark chocolate bars began as some of the rarest and highest quality single origin cacao beans from organic trees in the Peruvian Amazon and Ecuadorian Coast, which get transformed into cocoa at the base of the Andes Mountains, and are finished into chocolate in Switzerland by expert chocolatiers.
You can choose between Blackout, for the deep fruity intensity of just the very high Cacao content itself; or Brown Butter, for the complementing and contrasting tastes of sweet pastured butter and celtic sea salt (or the Sea Salt one, without the dairy content); or Burnt Caramel (for raw cane sugar, lush organic cream, and pastured heirloom butter simmered to the brink of burnt for a masterful caramel crunch); or Dark Mint, to punctuate the chocolate with the crunch of organic peppermint crystals; or Dark Quinoa, which integrates a light crispy Quinoa/Rice crunch into the premium chocolate.
From Field to Table -- How Alter Eco Chocolate is Produced
Cacao is planted in a nursery, and raised there for two to three months before being transplanted to the field. With their partners at Pur Projet (an NGO), Alter Eco and the cooperatives they work with then plant the trees.
After about five years, the cacao fruit of most varieties is mature and ready to harvest. The pod is cut open with a machete, and the beans and pulp are removed. The beans are then left to ferment for a week in wooden crates. During the fermentation process, the pulp liquifies and complex chemical changes help develop flavor in the beans.
The beans are then laid out and dried (sometimes in an oven) until their moisture content reaches roughly 7%. This process can take up to three weeks. The dried beans are then shipped to their chocolate manufacturer in Switzerland.
Once in the factory, the beans are roasted for a few hours to bring out the nuances of flavor, similar to toasting almonds or roasting coffee. The roasted beans are broken down and their skins (chaff) are removed. The pieces of broken down beans, called "nibs" are the source of the chocolate we know and love.
The nibs are then ground under a heavy stone, which separates the colorless cocoa butter and the remaining cocoa liquor. For the high quality chocolate of Alter Eco, the liquor is further refined before adding the final touches.
At last, Alter Eco silky and malty organic chocolate is born!
Blackout: Cacao beans*, cocoa butter*, raw cane sugar*, vanilla beans*. 100% Fairtrade ingredients. Minimum 85% Cacao content.
Brown Butter: Cacao beans*, raw cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, butterfat*, sea salt (fleur de sel), natural flavour. Contains milk. 95% Fairtrade ingredients. Minimum 70% Cacao content.
Burnt Caramel: Cacao beans*, raw cane sugar*, salted caramel granulates (cane sugar*, glucose syrup*, butter*, cream*, water, salt), cocoa butter*, butterfat*, sea salt (fleur de sel), natural flavour. Contains milk. 90% Fairtrade ingredients. Minimum 70% Cacao content.
Mint: Cacao beans*, raw cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, peppermint crunch (raw cane sugar*, peppermint oil*, cocoa powder*), vanilla beans*. 99.9% Fairtrade ingredients. Minimum 60% Cacao content.
Quinoa: Cacao beans*, raw cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, quinoa rice crisps (quinoa*, rice*, raw cane sugar*), vanilla beans*. 100% Fairtrade ingredients. Minimum 60% Cacao content.
Sea Salt: Cacao beans*, raw cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, sea salt (fleur de sel). 99% Fairtrade ingredients. Minimum 70% Cacao content.
Wholesome. Nearly completely Organic and Fair Trade. Non-GMO. Carbon Neutral. Sustainable Packaging. Gluten-Free.
Allergy alert: Made on equipment shared with milk, tree nuts, and soy.