Every brand has a story, but some tell it a lot more clearly than others. Auro Chocolateseemed to me like "just another chocolate brand" at first, but when I attended their official launch last week, I left not only with a taste of one of the best locally-made chocolates ever, but also with an interesting story to tell... or rather, re-tell.
Those who have been to Davao have certainly sought after not just durian but also cacao—in older times only in drink form, but later as bars as well. This province indeed holds a lot of surprises—that’s why when Auro owners Kelly Go, Jacqueline Go, and Mark Ocampo stumbled upon local farmers who grow Criollo Porcelana, they wasted no time. This heirloom cacao variety is one of the rarest and most coveted—only 0.1% of the world’s cacao population. Thus began their journey of producing fine Filipino chocolates.
Auro aims to be a Filipino chocolate company that produces high-quality, locally-sourced, single-origin products, and to attain this, they have partnered up with a lot of Davao farmers and cooperatives, from whom they directly source all of their cacao beans. Moreover, they support the livelihood of these farmersnot only by providing them an income, but also by putting training programs in place to improve agricultural practices and educate them on running their own businesses.
The name of the chocolate, Auro, takes inspiration from Au (chemical symbol of gold) and oro (Spanish word for gold). For me, it says a lot—from the moment of discovery of the right cacao bean, to the feeling that one gets when he sinks his teeth into the finished product. Auro is indeed one of the best I’ve tasted: the dark chocolate (64%) is of the right balance of sweetness and bitterness, while the milk chocolate (42%) is still rich but subtle and refined. They are so damn good—I’m so proud they’re locally made!
Those who would like to see how Auro produces the chocolates can visit their factory in Calamba, Laguna, where the beans are flown all the way from Davao. It would be nice to take a peek and learn about their bean-to-bar concept.
Aside from chocolate bars, Auro also sells cocoa (nibs, mass) and couverture (blocks, coins). Email them email@example.com to inquire or place your orders.
Samson, Pepe (2017, May 15) Auro Fine Chocolates: Gold in a Bar. https://www.pepesamson.com/2017/05/auro-fine-chocolate.html