Why Does a Lot of Local Chocolate Come From Davao?

Here are some fun facts you need to know about chocolates.

PHOTO BY War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who like chocolates and those who are wrong. We kid, of course, but if you find yourself wholeheartedly agreeing, then The Malagos Book of Chocolate (P1,500) is a must-have. Aside from telling the story of Davao-based Malagos Chocolate, the book, written by Clinton Palanca with photographs by Neal Oshima, also has some fun tidbits about chocolate that you might not have known about. We list a few of them that not only teach you something new about your favorite treat, but also make good conversation starters.

PHOTO BY War Espejo

We have Spain to credit for bringing chocolate to the Philippines.

Obviously, our 333 years under Spanish rule weren't always the best of times, but we can thank them for bringing the cacao tree and the habit of drinking hot chocolate to the Philippines. They were also the ones who taught Filipinos to create tablea or dark chocolate discs used to make tsokolate eh; soon enough, the batidor or a special wooden whisk used for making Spanish hot chocolate became a mainstay in Filipino households.

PHOTO BY War Espejo

Not all chocolates are created equally

While we love all kinds of chocolate, not all chocolates are created equally. Most accessible and affordable chocolate bars are made using cocoa powder that is then mixed with palm or sunflower oil. "Real" chocolate is made using only cocoa butter for a richer and smoother taste and texture. Bean-to-bar chocolate uses beans that come only from a specific region—for example, Malagos Chocolate uses only cacao beans from their farm in Davao to make their chocolate. 

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PHOTO BY War Espejo

Cacao trees can only grow in very specific locations

Cacao trees can be very finicky—they can only grow either 20 degrees north or 20 degrees south of the equator. These specific regions include Central America, where the plant was first cultivated, and southern regions of Visayas and Mindanao, including Davao, where a lot of local chocolatiers get their beans.

For more chocolate facts and chocolate-based recipes, you can buy The Malagos Book of Chocolates online.

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