Earth Loaf


Vanuit India, het land van de imposante Taj Mahal, Bollywood films en een hoog inwoners gehalte, kreeg ik een serie Earth Loaf chocolade repen thuis gestuurd. Deze repen zijn geheel vervaardigd uit hoge kwaliteit cacao welke tot stand komt in Karnataka, een deelstaat van India. Hier kan je als toerist terecht om vergane glorie te bekijken in de vorm van door de tijd aangetaste ruïnes. Ook voor prachtige beelden, zoals Shiva ben je hier aan het juiste adres.

Toen David Belo samen met zijn partner Angelika Anagnostou in 2013 India bezocht ontdekten zij de cacao uit Karnataka. Direct raakt het tweetal geïnspireerd door deze manier van werken. – het werd tijd om een nieuwe droom en richting in werking te stellen; een droom dat uiteindelijk ‘Earth Loaf’ mocht gaan heten. – dit was eerder ook al de naam van zijn bakkerij.

 

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Karnataka

Hoewel David en Angelika eerder in Londen hun brood- en banket vestiging hadden, vertrok het koppel uiteindelijk toch richting Mysore, de op één na grootste stad van Karnataka. Op deze manier wonen zij dicht bij de cacao plantage en dit is in verband met hun bedrijf wel zo handig. Je hebt op deze manier duidelijk één op één contact met de lokale bevolking- en boeren.

Earth Loaf Artisan and Raw Chocolate

Wat is kwaliteit cacao dan precies voor Earth Loaf?

Wij hebben de belangrijkste principes van Earth Loaf op een rijtje gezet:

  • Bio-gevarieerde omgeving doormiddel van organische landbouw.
  • Onze repen bevatten ten minste 60 procent cacaomassa.
  • Wij gebruiken alleen biologische cacao bonen en organische Palmyra suiker ( uit Syrië ).
  • De maximale tijd om van bean-to-bar te gaan is zeven dagen.
  • Wij betalen de hoogste prijs voor kwaliteit cacao uit Karnataka.
  • Alles wordt hand vervaardigd op ambachtelijke wijze voor extra kwaliteit.
David Belo at work with full concentration.

Interview with David Belo

 

How did Earth Loaf arise? || Earth Loaf actually started as a bakery in London in 2010, with a philosophy of blending old world food craft with new found nutritional wisdom. We eventually closed the bakery and later discovered cacao growing in India months after moving here in 2011. That’s when Earth Loaf’s second incarnation as a chocolate house began.

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What was the thought behind creating Earth Loaf and what does the name stands for? || The name is naturally inherited from the bakery we started. We kept the name because we felt Earth Loaf stood for something, and the chocolate project would imbibe the same principals the barkery did, including an emphasis on craft, hand-made, organic, local, wellness and passion. With Earth Loaf chocolate we have an India only sourcing policy. The country is so rich, and we want to explore that as much as possible, using interesting ingredients you wouldn’t see elsewhere, like Gondhoraj limes from Bengal and Mango Ginger from the Andaman Islands.
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Where do the cacao beans come from? || All our cacao is sourced from South India, primarily on the South West coast of Karnataka (where we are based). We also source beans from Kerala (slightly further South, on the Arabian sea) for our 72% Keralan Single Origin bar which was just released last week.
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Who created this nice packaging? || Angelika and I looked at a lot of packaging, both chocolate and other products. We wanted to create something slick, chique, but also local to South India to reflect the terrior in graphical form. We chose the cotton handmade paper which has been produced in India since the middle ages, and commissioned a local artist to draw the motif in a style called Chittara, which is the folk art style of the Western Ghats where our Karnatakan beans come from. It’s a subtle way to unite consumer with farmer through art.
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What is it like to get something started in India? || It can be tough, but in ways different to Europe. Where in Europe things can be strict, India moves with a certain flexibility. There are plenty of challenges of course, but one has to have patience. I’ve learned to relax about certain things. The biggest struggle can be upholding international standards, it’s very easy to let things slip. I’ve also had to learn (and am still learning) the state language, Kannada to be able to run an business and train young chocolatiers. Though many people speak English, it really helps to be able to converse with people in their language.
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Are you the only chocolatier in India? || Another bean-to-bar chocolate house launched in India pretty much at the same time as us in another area. It’s funny as we have some common friends, but haven’t yet met in person. Since we started 2-3 more bean-to-bar chocolatiers have started in India, in addition to several artisan chocolatiers who import couverture from well known international courverture producers. My goal is to make chocolate-making a respected profession in India, something that anyone dedicated enough can access, irrespective of background and education. I take a lot of pride in my chocolatiers. We do tasting master classes, tasting chocolate from around the world to develop their palates and give them a sense of the greater world of chocolate. There’s still a long way to go, but they’ve come such a long way.
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What are your ambitions with Earth Loaf for the future? || I’ve got so much I’d like to do. I’d like to bring Indian cacao to the chocolate world at large, adding another regional shade to the global chocolate spectrum as the terrior creates really interesting flavour profiles, different from anywhere else. I’d like to be a proponent for appreciation of good artisan chocolate in India, which is something we’ve started already. We’re also looking at things like growing strains of cacao that once grew in India and have been lost, and bringing cacao back to regions that no longer grow cacao. We’re already in talks about this with farmers. As I said earlier, I’d also like Earth Loaf Chocolate be a platform for personal development through apprenticeship for young people in India keen to take on a creative profession. Finally by only sourcing organic cacao, and organic ingredients, we’ve already seen the positive impact its having on keeping farmers organic, who can only do so when they have consistent demand. We’d like to keep this going.
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What would you like to share with us? || Chocolate is amazing, it’s special, and like wine, terroir matters. We’re really grateful to all those explorers who travel the world through a bar of chocolate, support sustainability and we encourage your readers to continue exploring. We’ve got a lot of interesting experiments in the works, and look forward to sharing them with all of you in due time. Huge thanks for letting us share a piece of our story and inspiration.
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Van Earth Loaf  mocht ik de volgende repen proeven

 

De repen van Earth Loaf staan bekend om hun kwaliteit- en smaakverhouding. Diversiteit zal je er dan ook zeker in aantreffen. Wat deze repen ook zo bijzonder maakt is de structuur. Elke Earth Loaf chocolade reep heeft een prima opbouw van diverse kruiden, smaken en overige toevoegingen. Alles is geheel biologisch en daarmee bijzonder gezond om tot je te nemen. Ben jij nog niet zo heel erg bekend met échte cacao uit India, dan mag je deze repen zeker aan je wishlist toevoegen!

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 Waar te bestellen?
Tot nu toe is Earth Loaf nog het beste te bestellen via hun eigen Webshop.
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Earth Loaf @online
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