Culture

Would You Pay $260 for a 1.5 Ounce Chocolate Bar?

You have to be a freaky-freak foodie or off your nut to pay $260 for a small, chocolate treat, right?

I mean, I love chocolate — with a capital “L.” I once paid $25 for the ultimate chocolate dessert in Vegas; double chocolate ice cream, double chocolate chips, double brownie, smothered in chocolate sauce served on a bed of double chocolate cake (the dessert was made for two). If I made your mouth water, you probably love chocolate as much as I do.

But given this marvelous description of the To’ak chocolate bar, I still can’t find an excuse to spend $260 to satisfy my chocolate craving.

Only fine grade cacao from 14 farmers on the coast of Ecuador is used.

And it takes 36 steps to create a 1.5oz To’ak bar.

Co-founder Jerry Toth said: “We make chocolate with the same care and precision as we know it from fine wine and premium small-batch whiskey.”

To’ak chocolate is translated to “earth” and “tree” in ancient Ecuadorian dialects.

It is eaten using wooden tongs, or tasting utensils, so that it is easier to perceive the chocolate’s aroma on the nose.

One reason for To’ak’s price tag is that 95% of chocolate is made using mass-produced beans, whereas their chocolate comes remaining 5%, known as fine grade cacao.

Each step towards making the bar – which is 81% cacao mass and the rest sugar – is meticulous, requiring 36 steps to make the bar.

Rare cacao seeds are first harvested from the coast of Ecuador, before they are fermented and turned into liquid chocolate.

This liquid chocolate is then hand-moulded and a single, hand-selected, hand-measured and shelled cacao bean is placed in the centre – this must fit perfectly and measure between 7mm and 8mm.

Though there are other chocolates out there with higher price tags, To’ak claim their chocolate is the most expensive pure chocolate – with no expensive additions.

Carl Schweizer, co-founder of To’ak, said: “It is the most expensive pure dark chocolate in the world without any fancy stuff like gold leaves or diamonds in it to increase its value.

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My friend from college quit the rat race about 15 years ago to become a chocolatier. He is insane about chocolate. He told me that he experimented for about 5 years, mixing beans, varying preparation, trying different fermenting techniques, before finally hitting on the right combination. He was never able to make a living creating chocolate treats, but he still whips up a batch every once and a while. There is no doubt his creations are several cuts above what you find in the grocery candy aisle, but I wonder what he’d say about a $260 chocolate bar?

The owners of To’ak have obviously found a niche to exploit, and I wish them luck. And, who knows? Christmas will be here before you know it and if I put To’ak chocolate on my list, maybe Santa will want some for himself and decide to satisfy the cravings of a few very good boys.

Alas, that’s the only way I’ll get my hands on the world’s most expensive dark chocolate.