Philippine chocolates are experiencing a resurgence recently, thanks to the dedication of our cacao farmers and the brands that believe in the superior quality of our beans and the skills of our farmers. Kultura is a proud partner of Malagos Chocolate and Auro Chocolate, which have served as prime movers of this local chocolate renaissance. Malagos Chocolate and Auro Chocolate have been accumulating recognitions from different international organizations, putting Philippine chocolates on the map. But what is it that really makes Philippine chocolates just as good, if not better than, their foreign counterparts? Rex Puentespina, farmer and chocolate-maker of Malagos Chocolate, and Kelly Go, co-founder and Managing Director of Auro Chocolate, weigh in on the reasons why local chocolates are exceptional.
1. Philippine chocolates have a unique history. The Philippines is one of the first Asian countries to have cacao, after the Spanish brought cacao beans from Mexico to local shores in the 1700s. Because of this, we have developed a unique chocolate-drinking culture. Whereas our Asian neighbors have been fond of drinking their coffee or tea, Filipinos have built an affinity with the tablea and the batirol.
2. We have unique and fine flavor cacao beans all over the country. Davao is considered as the cacao capital of the Philippines, but other areas such as Cebu and Batangas also contribute to the chocolate production. Three variants of cacao beans are most common in the country: the criollo, the forastero and the trinitario.
3. Our cacao farmers are some of the world’s best. Brands such as Malagos Chocolate and Auro Chocolate have actively collaborated with farmers and farming cooperatives, and have provided valuable training to them. The benefits extend to their families. In 2019, Jose Saguban of Paquibato, Davao, was named as one of the world’s 20 best cacao bean producers.
4. Filipinos are very creative. Aside from bars and bonbons, we come up with different variants and uses for our chocolates. We use them for our drinks, our pastries, and we even cover our fruits with chocolates.
Malagos Chocolate, Auro Chocolate and other amazing local chocolate brands are available at Kultura, with branches in different SM Supermalls and at www.kulturafilipino.com launching soon.
Kultura is a specialty store of SM Retail that offers all things uniquely Filipino- from food, beauty and wellness products to fashion, home decor and souvenirs. Behind every product is a story of community, support and identity.
Photos from Malagos Chocolate and Auro Chocolate]