The word Kakawa originally comes from the South American Olmec civilization and dates back to roughly 1000 BC. The Olmec were the first civilization to cultivate cocoa beans and called them Kakawa They grew their cocoa plants on the luscious east coast of Mexico. Much mystery still surrounds these origins. The arrival of the Spanish Armada lead to the name Kakawa being changed to Cacao.
In naming my business Kakawa, I feel I am honouring this original source of cacao and also committing to making the finest handmade chocolates that can really only be made from single origin couverture chocolate.
I love experimenting with new flavours and ingredients and inspiration can come anytime, anywhere! I am often asked how I have come up with a particular flavour and chocolate combination. I can only say that I get inspiration from everywhere: the dessert combinations at restaurants I’ve visited, perhaps, or while I’m tasting wine at a winery. Sometimes inspiration can come from cocktail combinations or new fruits.
Sometimes I discover wonderful new flavours when working with a customer. On occasion new flavours have been developed as a result of a customers bringing in ingredients they have grown in their own garden. One customer brought in cumquats so I made chocolate with it. “It was good”!
Everything can be mixed with chocolate if you find the gentle balance between the ingredients and chocolate. When developing flavours, I find using seasonal ingredients to be the biggest inspiration!