How To'ak Is Pioneering Sustainable Chocolate
To'ak Chocolate
by Stephanie Garr
1w ago
“Sustainability” is the shiniest buzzword on the market and no industry nor customer is safe from its ambiguity. As Sharon Terenzi (aka The Chocolate Journalist) explains here, “This term has no legal criteria nor official definitions that can keep companies accountable for their claims.” And so we now have “sustainable chocolate,” a sleek new framing of the status quo. This phrase can mean just about anything to any company (even those promoting “cacao-free chocolate”), so we’d like to use this blog to fill you in on every step of our chocolate-making process as a small sustainable chocolat ..read more
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World Rainforest Day: Support To’ak’s Rainforest Conservation Efforts
To'ak Chocolate
by Jerry Toth
1y ago
World Rainforest Day is Thursday, June 22. To celebrate, we’re putting our money where our mouth is. For every bar we sell, To’ak will donate at least $1 to rainforest conservation and restoration in Ecuador. For each Reserve Series box sold, To’ak donates $5. For each Masters Series box sold, To'ak donates $10. Funds are specifically donated to the protection and expansion of the Jama-Coaque Reserve in coastal Ecuador. This project is managed by TMA (Third Millennium Alliance), an Ecuador-based nonprofit organization with over 15 years of rainforest conservation experience in this regi ..read more
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To’ak Chocolate and the Ecuadorian Rainforest: A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
To'ak Chocolate
by Jerry Toth
1y ago
Chocolate has a tricky relationship with tropical forests. On the one hand, cacao trees are a creation of the rainforest—specifically, the Ecuadorian rainforest. They are naturally adapted to grow in the understory of the tropical forest. For this reason, cacao trees can be a key element in rainforest restoration. On the other hand, vast swaths of tropical forest have been cleared to make way for monoculture cacao plantations. During the last twenty years, it is estimated that 2.4 million hectares of forest have been replaced by cacao trees in the Ivory Coast alone. The very treasure that ..read more
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Should You Be Concerned About Heavy Metals in Dark Chocolate?
To'ak Chocolate
by Stephanie Garr
1y ago
Quick answer: probably not. Here’s why: Concerns about the amount of cadmium and lead in chocolate have been overblown. The guidelines under California’s Prop 65 are extremely cautious—you would have to ingest 1,000 times the Prop’s maximum allowable dose level (MADL) to still remain at a safe (“no observable effect”) level. It’s safe to say that would be nearly impossible to achieve, even if you solely consumed dark chocolate every day. To’ak regularly tests its chocolate for heavy metals. Most recently, a German lab found that our 100% Ecuadorian cacao contained 1.728 mcg in one 16-g ..read more
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15 Things You Never Knew About Chocolate
To'ak Chocolate
by Stephanie Garr
1y ago
Everything you thought you knew about chocolate may just be wrong. Heck, even the History Channel can’t get their chocolate timeline straight (keep reading to see what they missed). Here are 15 chocolate facts that bust all sorts of myths around chocolate’s origin, name, science, value, and more. You’ll be looking at your next piece of chocolate in a totally different way after reading this. 1. Cacao is not a bean—it’s a fruit. The term “cacao bean” is technically incorrect. Cacao beans are neither beans nor legumes—they’re seeds found in the pod-shaped fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. Each ..read more
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Conversations Over Cacao, Issue 002: Connecting With the Cosmos, Brian Keats, and More
To'ak Chocolate
by Stephanie Garr
1y ago
We hope you enjoyed our first installment of Conversations Over Cacao. Our goal is to offer subtle reminders of the beauty that exists around and within us and the pleasure that can be derived from deliberately engaging our senses. Each month a different member of our team will share some brief opening thoughts. On this occasion, our CEO James Le Compte shares his personal journey in chocolate and our guest, astral calendar pioneer Brian Keats, discusses our deep connection to the stars. We also share a few inspirations to help us better connect to ourselves—and the cosmos. Subscribe here ..read more
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Conversations Over Cacao, Issue 001: Summer Solstice, Charles Michel, and More
To'ak Chocolate
by Stephanie Garr
2y ago
Welcome to our inaugural edition of Conversations Over Cacao, a newsletter to celebrate nature, ignite the senses, and pique your curiosity, brought to you by the team at To’ak. For this first volume, our co-founder Jerry Toth details his experience celebrating the summer solstice from 12 km south of the equator line, renowned food educator and activist Charles Michel discusses his idea of infinite beauty, and we share a few of our favorite things. We invite you to brew yourself a rich cup of cacao and dig in. Subscribe here to receive Conversations Over Cacao directly in your inbox monthly ..read more
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The Art & Science of Food Pairing
To'ak Chocolate
by Blog Publisher
2y ago
Do you love ketchup with your fries? Jams with your cheeses? Peanut butter with your chocolate? Are you actually getting the best of both foods when you pair them? Or let’s just get to the question you’re all wondering: Should I really be pairing chocolate with wine? A successful food pairing is achieved when the combination of two or more ingredients gives a greater sensorial experience than any of those ingredients on their own. Our eating preferences are heavily influenced by childhood memories, cultural backgrounds, daily habits, and personal income. However, there are some food combinatio ..read more
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MrBeast Chocolate vs. the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate
To'ak Chocolate
by Stephanie Garr
2y ago
How does a $3 chocolate bar stand up next to a $400 chocolate bar? Famous YouTuber and philanthropist MrBeast set forth to answer this burning question in a side-by-side comparison of To’ak’s Art Series chocolate and his own Feastables MrBeast Chocolate Bars. While MrBeast proclaims his product to be “the final boss of all chocolates,” he humbly invited world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay to serve as judge in this no-holds-barred chocolate competition. Before we reveal the victor, though, here’s a look at how both bars stack up when it comes to price, ingredients, sourcing, background, and exper ..read more
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The Case for Celebrating Summer Solstice
To'ak Chocolate
by Blog Publisher
2y ago
June 21, 2022 It’s quite possible that the summer solstice is the single most celebrated holiday in the history of humanity. Millenia before wall calendars and state-sanctioned holidays, there were only the rhythms of the land, its seasons and the celestial bodies. People began celebrating the summer solstice because it was literally a cosmic event that could be observed with the naked eye—by virtue of the setting sun.   Summer solstice comes exactly once a year, every year, and has been doing so since the dawn of time on this planet. In that sense, it is older than biological life on ear ..read more
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