Thai cacao is going global.
The 2018 Academy of Chocolate Awards were announced on May 11, recognizing the very best in everything chocolate-related from around the world, and for the first time Thai cacao is among the awardees.
Established in the UK in 2005, the Academy of Chocolate states its aim as to recognize and showcase great-tasting chocolate and its producers (you might recognize its seal-of-approval in those shiny stickers you find on the packaging of particularly yummy chocolates).
This 11th staging of the awards saw almost 150 bars recognized in the Bean to Bar (under 80-percent cocoa solids) category, including one bronze awardee that lists its origin as Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Lemuel Chocolate 70% Dark Thailand, Chiang Mai, is actually made in Singapore by chocolate-maker Ronald Ng, whose not-quite-one-year-old craft chocolate brand (www.lemuelchocolate.com) focuses on making single-origin chocolate from only selected cacao and raw cane sugar, without any other additives. The brand currently has chocolate bars from 12 origins in South America, Asia and Oceania.
Unfortunately, Lemuel doesn't ship to Thailand, but there is some good news. The beans used in its award-winning chocolates come from Kad Kakao farm in Chiang Mai, which plans to launch its own chocolate brand and cafe in Bangkok later this year.