Can you imagine being a judge tasked with tasting 33 craft small-batch chocolate bars and choosing a winner?
The first of its kind in Kentucky, the 2022 Craft Chocolat Challenge was January 22 in Beattyville. Entries in the international bean to bar chocolate contest came from four continents, representing 18 regional cacao farms across 11 countries.
Contest Director Dustin Cornett, owner of the Chocolat Inn & Café in Beattyville, says, “The contest highlights craft chocolate makers who create their delicious treats from the cacao bean. Creating high-quality chocolate from cacao beans is labor intensive and requires numerous steps from roasting the beans to tempering the chocolate for the perfect chocolate bar mold.”
Craft chocolate or artisanal chocolate generally refers to small-batch chocolate made from bean to bar, using ethically sourced cacao beans to ensure a sustainable future for farmers.
So which bars won? In the Top Overall category, Moku Chocolate took first for its 60% cacao dark milk chocolate from Ecuador and second for its 70% cacao dark chocolate from the Dominican Republic. Other craft chocolate bars that took home medals include Honeymoon Chocolates, second for Best Dark Chocolate; Mausi Chocolates, second for Best Milk Chocolate; Tebo Chocolates, first for Best White Chocolate; and Oodaalolly, first for Best Inclusion for its White Coconut Pineapple bar.