Britain's leading chocolate professionals recognized a product from Davao City.
The Academy of Chocolate gave "Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate" a bronze award for the Best Unflavoured Drinking Chocolate category.
"This goes to show that our base chocolate (cocoa liquor) can compete side by side with other chocolates around the world. As far as I know, this is a first for the Philippines," said Rex Puentespina, chocolate maker and sales and marketing director at Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp.
According to The Academy of Chocolate, they received a record number of entries with over 500 products from different parts of the world. For this year, judges included chocolate experts and buyers, pastry chefs, food professionals, and food journalists. They are chaired by globally respected wine expert Charles Metcalfe.
For the same category, other bronze winners were Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate from Ecuador and Du Jour Choco Chaud from Brazil. Another entry from Ecuador, the Favarger drinking chocolate, got the silver medal; and Haiti's Kokoa Collection Hot Chocolate earned the gold award. The list of the other winners in other categories may be viewed here.
The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain's leading chocolate professionals to campaign for better chocolate and promote awareness on the differences between fine chocolates and mass-produced chocolate confectionery.
In an interview with GMA News Online during the Madrid Fusión Manila, Jen Martinez-Puentespina of Malagos said that the win came as a surprise since they kept their expectations low.
"This award validates the quality of beans and chocolates we have been producing the past two years," Rex Puentespina added.
Malagos started making premium single-origin cocoa liquor in 2012. The family-owned company also owns a cacao nursery certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry.
The mother-and-son tandem of Charita and Rex Puentespina have been working with more than 40 small farmers in Calinan, Davao City and used cacao beans, specifically the Trinitario clones, which is a cross between the Criollo and Forastero varieties, harvested from trees growing in the foothills of Mount Talomo.
Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. also grows ornamental plants and cut flowers, runs a nature-themed resort in Davao, and produces artisanal cheeses under the brand Malagos Farmhouse.
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