From a very young age I always dreamed of visiting New Zealand and fortunately this became a reality last year. Originally as a family we were going to hire a Winnebago to access the North and South Islands. However, after much consideration we opted to go on a 15-day cruise. This proved to be a great decision because on arrival to this magnificent country we got to experience the spectacular Milford Sound. These Fiords located in the southwest of the South Island are an outstanding region of natural beauty. They are also home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins.

Whilst we stayed in New Zealand we enjoyed time in several key cities that promote wonderful contemporary architecture and food. That is why I have included several craft producers in my forthcoming book about dark chocolate. To make the publication diverse and interesting I want to include a broad spectrum of different brands. Ultimately that is why I was interested in Wild Heart Chocolate and the owner Chalice Malcom’s unusual approach to this fine art.

Over the last few weeks (in the spirit of research) I have tasted some absolutely fantastic chocolate. The one common factor is the use of fine ingredients and in many cases only two. This is why Chalice ethically sources the highest quality wild cacao beans directly from South American indigenous gatherers. At this stage they are washed and dried in a dehydrator before being carefully blended in a stone grinder for 3-4 days. Apart from the numerous health benefits the taste also has a sensational rich and creamy intensity.

As well as being a superb chocolate maker Chalice also practices Shamanic Healing and conducts spiritual plant medicine courses. All of this might seem a bit hippy trippy but the end product really does speak for itself. Even though Wild Heart is technically a raw chocolate company I would personally categorize them as a bean to bar maker. Ultimately they are using unroasted cacao beans combined with sugar rather than powder (bound together with organic coconut oil to form a solid compound) like other brands that market themselves in this way.

Within the Wild Heart Chocolate range there are 7 exciting raw cacao flavours to chose from like Berrylion (raspberries, blueberries), Bliss (vanilla and cinnamon), Go Go Goji Nuts (goji berries, activated almonds), Mint Crunch (fresh mint and essence of cicada), Mylk (shredded coconut, scotch thistle), Raw Zest (orange, anise and cardamom) and Weta (weta, vanilla and black salt).

For more information about Wild Heart Chocolate and to purchase their delicious raw chocolate bars follow this link

Photography by Chrissy Young.

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