Semuliki Forest, Uganda 75%
It’s been a while since I added a new origin to my line of single-origin dark chocolate bars (Tumaco, Colombia 70% back in 2018!). So, I’m really excited for this new bar using cacao grown in the Semuliki Forest in Bundibugyo, Western Uganda.
This bar represents a couple of firsts for me. This is the first non-Latin-American cacao I’ve used since I was first experimenting with making chocolate back in 2010. Also, this is the first time I’ve released something other than a 70% bar as the first bar from a new origin. Through testing, I found that this cacao was good at 70%, but really sung at 75%. That extra little bit of cacao really brings out the great notes of dark cherry and molasses. Add to that it’s amazing texture and snap and this bar is really something special.
I source the cacao for this chocolate through Uncommon Cacao, a great company who works directly with cacao producers (farmers, co-ops, fermentaries, etc.) to ethically import cacao into the U.S. From their site:
Located in Bundibugyo, Western Uganda, Semuliki Forest cacao is grown by 1,002 organic smallholder farmers in the region, 52% of whom are women. Latitude Trade Co. (LTC), the company that processes and exports this cacao, has organized 6 rural collection points for farmers to access, where they sell fresh cacao weekly into the network and receive cash at the point of sale. LTC’s centralized fermentation facility and warehouse is located in the village of Bumate, at the base of the hills leading into the mountains. The site is designed to take advantage of all possible available sunshine while limiting runoff from heavy rainfall. Fermentation boxes have a 500kg capacity and total duration of fermentation varies from 5.5-6.5 days. Beans are sun-dried on portable raised racks for 6-7 days and blended to create consistent lots before export.
I hope you enjoy this new bar! –Ben, Chocolate Maker, Potomac Chocolate
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar
Weight: 2.12 oz (60g)
Soy, dairy, nut, and gluten free. VEGAN
Nicole (verified owner) –
This is only 75%??? Amazing. I would have thought it was darker, to be honest. This is the first bar in a looooong history of craft chocolate tasting that I could pick out the flavor notes described on the package. Texture, taste – this is a winner.
A K –
Stopped in to the shop in Occoquan on a whim last week on a visit to the area. I go through a lot of artisanal chocolates, and this was no ho-hum experience. I really appreciate a good selection of crafted single-original chocolates. All were incredible, but to me, standing out above the rest, was the Ugandan. Probably just my taste, but man oh man, this was a good bar — both the first instant, and every bite through the end, I did not tire of it. And am back for more, will order a bundle for shipping just now… bravo!
A K –
(Five stars, by the way!)
Ben Rasmussen –
Thanks for stopping in and thanks for the great review! I’m glad you like the Ugandan bar so much! It’s one of my newest origins and I’m really proud of it.