I was honored to visit the operation of chocolate maker Carlos Eichenberger last week in Guatemala City. Me, just a mere student here for one year but he was nice and patient enough to take the time and show a complete stranger into his home and show me the complete process from bean to bar. Carlos buys the already fermented cacao and then starts with roasting and goes all the way to wrapping each bar himself. Everything about his process was precise and maniacally exact. If there was so much as a blemish in a finished bar, it was stashed in the reject pile for re-melting and re-doing. Isn’t this what you want from a chocolate maker? Perfection.
I admit I was a dark-chocolate snob but every ingredient is such a high quality that every chocolate he makes is exceptional. I take back all the bad things I ever said about white chocolate. I think my favorite is the 60% and 70% Cacao Las Acacias. The texture is extremely creamy and smooth and lasts for a long time in your mouth, if you don’t chew, that is. I almost want to say that the chocolate is playful. There is a slight fruity-ness but not enough to pin down a specific fruit, for me anyway. There may have been a hint of coffee and somewhat of a smokyness, but it wasn’t overpowering at all. I paired some of the 60% Las Acacias with a Guatemalan black tea called Te Chirrepeco and that was one exquisite dessert. If you’re in Guatemala and want to take full advantage of true Guatemalan cacao, then you must have Danta chocolate.