Two years ago my physician wife was invited to attend a medical conference in Wellington, New Zealand. Fortunately, due to great timing, myself and eight-year son also travel on the trip. Even though Wellington is a relatively small capital city it is absolutely crammed full of culture. For example, the city boasts some extraordinary cutting-edge modern architecture and some delightful historical buildings like St. Paul’s church. There are also many superb tourist attractions like Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand) Zealandia, amazing Red Rock Reserve (where you can spot seals) and the sensational Wellington Chocolate Factory.

I have always been a bit of a chocoholic and in recent years enjoyed the darker varieties. Essentially this was the catalyst for writing a book about the subject for a global publisher. Prior to this, I had published series of reviews entitled the ‘Art of the Australian Chocolatier’. This experience was very educational because I learned about the different methods of making chocolate. Most supermarkets stock a high cocoa content chocolate that is called Couverture. This process comprises manufacture bought buttons that are melted and combined with different flavors. In contrast, Wellington Chocolate Factory fits in a niche category classed as ‘Bean to bar’.

Wellington Chocolate Factory was founded by Gabe Davidson and is dedicated to establishing Fair Trade agreements with farmers. Ultimately this means they know the origin of all their cacao beans and therefore can ensure the finest quality. All of their bars are handmade (on traditional machinery) in small batches to ensure optimum quality. First, the beans are delicately roasted, cracked, winnowed, conched and then tempered. In my opinion, once you taste there exquisite ‘Bean to Bar’ chocolate it is very tough to go back to inferior mass-produced products.

Depending on your particular preferences Wellington Chocolate Factory has several varieties to choose from. My personal favorites are the ‘Chilli Peanuts’ and Craft Beer’ bars because of the unusual flavor profiles. However, in the name of research (for my ‘Dark’ chocolate book), I got to experience every product in the range. What hits you first is the intense robust taste of the premium grade organic cacao beans. The company uses no artificial flavorings, preservatives or colorings. In fact, their single origin bars (Dominican Republic) only use two ingredients.

As well as including exquisite chocolate my book concept also had to have a strong visual identity. This is how I initially became aware of Wellington Chocolate Factory because they employ renowned New Zealand artists to design their wrappers. This inspirational finishing touch targets all of the consumer’s, senses, which makes their products absolutely irresistible.

For more information about Wellington Chocolate Factory follow this link

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