Alter EcoNourishing Foodie, Farmer and Field

FROM FIELD TO TABLE – Chocolate

Cacao is planted in a nursery and raised for two to three months before being transplanted to the field. With our partners at Pur Projet, the cooperatives and Alter Eco plant the trees.

After about five years, the cacao fruit of most varieties is mature and ready to harvest. The pod is cut open with a machete and the beans and pulp are removed.

The beans are left to ferment for a week in wooden crates. During the fermentation process, the pulp liquifies and complex chemical changes help develop flavor in the beans. 

The beans are laid out and dried (sometimes in an oven) until the moisture content reaches roughly 7%. This process can take up to three weeks. Dried beans are then shipped to our chocolate manufacturer in Switzerland.

Once in the factory, the beans are roasted for a few hours to bring out the nuances of flavor, similar to toasting almonds or roasting coffee.

The roasted beans are broken down and their skins (chaff) are removed. The pieces of broken down beans, called “nibs” are the source of the chocolate we know and love.

The nibs are then ground under a heavy stone, which separates the colorless cocoa butter and the remaining cocoa liquor. For the high quality chocolate of Alter Eco, the liquor is further refined before adding the final touches.

At last, Alter Eco silky and malty organic chocolate is born! Learn more about our chocolate.