Much like wine, the quality and taste of chocolate is affected by five main factors:
Terroir & Climate
Near the equator with a tropical climate, St Vincent's deep valleys have rich fertile volcanic soil which make for nigh on perfect conditions for growing cocoa.
Variety of Cacao
We are fortunate to have strands of traditional cocoa dating centuries back, which encompass all of the ten genetic groupings. Alongside our in-house agronomist, we have identified and grafted these to produce one of the world's most exclusive and diverse gene banks, ranging from 100% Criollo to Amelonado hybrids, rare Nacionals, and the little known Iquinon and Maranon. Knowing exactly what we grow enables us to produce cocoa with superior flavour.
Unlike industrial chocolate makers, we are able to pick, de-pod, ferment, dry and sort the beans ourselves. This way, we ensure our beans are the very best they can be - free from mould and other defects.
Roasting and conching our beans for shorter periods and in small batches means that we preserve far more of the true taste of cacao, as well as its naturally occurring polyphenols (antioxidants). The particle size of cocoa solids also impacts on quality; our chocolate is consistently around 20 microns to make it the perfect consistency.
Additives & Masking
We do not use any artificial additives in our chocolate and the quality of our cocoa means that we don't need to homogenise it to mask inherent flavour defects. On the contrary, we strive to accentuate the natural flavours of our cocoa, from light honey notes to citrus and berries.
The ability to control our entire supply chain from seed to bar puts us in a unique position within the chocolate industry. When you choose Islands, you choose chocolate that is not only sustainable and ethically sound, but also high quality and naturally delicious.