As the weather warms this season, we pause to celebrate all the seeds we sow to nurture a healthy growth.
Ecuador, Manabi -0.30° -79.83°
At the heart of Antidote is cacao, precisely because the many nutrients and antioxidants in it are a natural antidote to stress, emotional blues and other human ailments. Theobroma cacao, a most precious tropical evergreen tree, is grown for the edible seeds nestled within its cacao pods. When I travel to Ecuador to oversee and coordinate production, I evaluate these seeds – more commonly known as “beans” – by taste, color and shape before making roasting tests. I also visit the cacao farms we work with and spend some time with patrons and people there. There is a variety of cacao trees, some over 100 years old, with pod colors from red to green and brownish. Each color presents a different flavor profile. The protocol and production for each of our chocolate percentages is different and geared towards leveraging the natural notes of the beans we select with a lower heat process to protect their power. As a side note, the name “Theobroma cacao” translates as “cacao, the food of the gods” in Greek, which is why our eight flavor fusion bars are named after Greek goddesses. The attributes of these deities are matched with the powers of our ingredients and pairings.
Brooklyn, NY 40.73° -73.95°
In the Big Apple, the seeds we plant are of a different nature, namely with our customers and wholesale partners. In time, many have come to rely on our Antidote to the hectic pace of a New York minute—a nourishing treat that calms stress, eases tension and satiates hunger at any time of day (or night!).
Upper Austria 48.34° 14.17°
When I go back to visit my family in Austria, I’m looking at trees again – not cacao trees but many other varieties – with my father in our forest. He is a healthy 85 years old and loves to give me an in-depth overview of the age, type and health of the trees. There is no way out! In the last few weeks, he replanted 900 maples, 75 oaks, 200 spruces, 370 Douglas firs and 40 firs to counteract the necessary eroding from a beetle disease that affected the forest. That is a total of 1545 new trees he has planted (with an NYPD cap on his head). I’m thankful he has sown these seeds for the enjoyment of many generations to come.
To put that in relation to the seeds we're planting in 2018, I’m playing with flavor pairings for three new chocolate bar recipes! In the bigger picture, hopefully the thousands of bars we produce throughout this year reach those who need an Antidote and their emotional afflictions are transformed into ease and happiness, one piece at a time.