De Villiers Chocolate, one of Africa’s first bean-to-bar chocolate brands, has added another original tasting chocolate bar range to its name: chocolate nut-butter bars. Unencumbered by chocolate regulations, this delicious addition is dairy-free, vegan friendly and contains no artificial preservatives, colourants, or ingredients. It is therefore appropriate that this tasty treat celebrates those inventors who understood that not all solutions need to be practical, some simply need to add a bit of joy to people’s lives. Here at De Villiers Chocolate, we like to call these inventions “joyful necessities”.
You will not find the inventors of “joyful necessities” on the world stage, instead they reside in kitchens where they quietly perform their chocolate alchemy. In times of crises, when the world calls for solutions, these chefs and confectioners turn to their churners and mixers to extract something delicious that would produce a smile at a time when this might be a scarce commodity.
The latest addition to De Villiers Chocolate is an example of how a passionate team of chocolate lovers used a challenging time to invent an enjoyable treat:
Chocolate nut-butter dates back to the Napoleonic period in France when a sanction on British goods in Italy resulted in a shortage of cocoa supplies. Refusing to live a life without chocolate, industrious Italian chocolatiers sought ways to decrease cocoa quantities in their chocolate, without affecting the taste. Their solution? A creamy paste made from the little cocoa powder they had, mixed with the one thing that was not in short supply: finely ground hazelnuts. This delicious hazelnut spread sparked immediate joy, and was later perfected by Michele Prochet who, in 1852, refined the decadent hazelnut paste, called gianduia (pronounced Jun-doo-yah), and produced individually wrapped chocolates from it.
Although there are reports that this inspiring story is mythical, the pursuit of light or something sweet and joyous in darkness or challenging times is most fundamentally human and true, and something the De Villiers Chocolate brand strongly associates with!
And now, when the world once again calls for joy, De Villiers Chocolate delivers with a product that honours this original hazelnut-butter chocolate heritage.
De Villiers Chocolate’s nut-butter bars are made from nut-butter and equal amounts of De Villiers Chocolate’s famous terroir-focused cocoa beans. These artisanal chocolate bars combine the deliciousness of De Villiers chocolate with the wholesome goodness of nut-butter.
Ever since owner Pieter de Villiers’ trip to the home of the original gianduja paste, Turin (Italy), in 2015, he has been working on perfecting a uniquely African version of Italy’s famous nutty chocolate butter.
True to De Villiers Chocolate’s origin, when the very first chocolates in the series were made in self-made chocolate machines fashioned from a spice grinder and a converted washing machine, De Villiers Chocolate nut-butter bars are made from custom-designed appliances. This allows Pieter to create a series of unique and artisanal chocolate nut-butter bars not limited by conventional chocolate-making methods or definitions.
The new line of chocolate nut-butter bars reflects the very best of the Bundibugyo District in Western Uganda from where Pieter personally sources UTZ-certified cocoa beans from sustainable farms. Bundibugyo is characterised by spectacular, verdant hills that flatten into fertile valleys. Here, cacao farmers’ crops benefit from naturally purified air and the clear water from the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
In line with De Villiers Chocolate’s sustainability mandate, De Villiers Chocolate follows a strict bean-to-bar approach, with all its chocolate produced from scratch at its South African facility in Paarl, Western Cape. No chocolate is bought from external suppliers, and no premade product is used during production. Although nut-butters are often associated with the use of palm oil, this contentious ingredient is not included in De Villiers Chocolate nut-butter bars. All De Villiers Chocolate bars are Rainforest Alliance Certified, in support of a mandate which secures a better future for man and nature.
The result? A new kind of chocolate bar that is only guided by consumers’ joy. It has its own individual identity and promises a unique experience with a taste profile that not only reflects the beauty of its African origins, but protects it too. A pure and joyful expression of the best of Africa!