Bonnat Chocolate. Tasting the Origin of Cocoa Beans.
Fourth-generation chocolatier Stéphane Bonnat is one of the last of his kind in France. In his chocolate manufacturing company, which was founded in Voiron in 1884, he cultivates the kind of philosophy common in the high-quality wine-growing industry and stresses the significance of the soil, the climate of the plant growing region and the appropriate processing for the characteristics of cocoa. This is why he maintains close contacts with cocoa farmers in the individual countries of origin, importing only premium-quality cocoa beans from small 3-10-hectare plantations. Bonnat consciously avoids mixing beans from different plantations in his chocolate so as to preserve the specific flavours of each variety and their growing area. The differences are often striking, and it is worth sampling and comparing chocolates. Bonnat is also uncompromising when it comes to preparation. His purist recipe specifies long, carefully conched cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar – and powdered milk for the milk chocolate varieties. Darker cocoa beans are used to make dark chocolates, light Indonesian beans for milk chocolate. By treating ingredients carefully and taking the time to roast the cocoa beans, additives such as soy lecithin are not needed.