Davao chocolate wins big in 1st virtual competition

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Davao chocolate wins big in 1st virtual competition
Malagos recently won four gold awards at the World Drinking Chocolate Competition 2020 under the category Plain/Origin Drinking Chocolate Dark (made with water).
STAT / File

MANILA, Philippines — The famous Malagos Chocolates of Davao continues to prove its dominance after it bagged top awards in the first-ever online international chocolate festival.

Malagos recently won four gold awards at the World Drinking Chocolate Competition 2020 under the category Plain/Origin Drinking Chocolate Dark (made with water).

The three other golds were given in the special categories of Growing Country, Chocolate Maker and Direct Traded. It also won bronze in the Plain/Origin Dark Drinking Chocolate (made with milk) category.

Its well-known Malagos 100% Premium Unsweetened Chocolate, the award-winning entry, is its base throughout its entire product line.

It is Malagos’ purest as it contains only one ingredient, the fermented dried cacao bean.

Chocolate maker and Malagos Chocolate managing director Rex Puentespina said the recent feat is a validation of the company’s never-ending quest for excellence in the field of cacao farming and chocolate-making.

“We share and dedicate these international recognitions to the hardworking Filipino farmers. Truly grateful as well to those who continue to support and cheer us on during these tough times,” he said.

The recent Drinking Chocolate Virtual Ceremony was organized by the International Chocolate Awards in partnership with the Schokoladen Gourmet Festival, the world’s first online chocolate festival, which is run by Germany-based Chocolats-de-luxe.de.

The World Drinking Chocolate Competition celebrates the origins of chocolate as a drink and comes with a revival of high-quality drinking chocolate within the craft chocolate movement.

It focuses on drinks made with chocolate, chocolate preparations, cocoa powder mixes, infusions and alcoholic drinks made with chocolate or cacao.

The International Chocolate Awards, on the other hand, is the world’s only fully independent international fine chocolate competition that aims to support companies producing fine chocolate and chocolatiers, small companies and artisans working with fine chocolate.

With the new awards, Malagos has gone full circle. Back in 2015, it was in this same category that it was able to claim its first international award, which placed the spotlight on Malagos and Philippine cacao.

It was in 1963 when its founders, Roberto and Charita Puentespina, bought their first farm in Tagakpan in Davao City located at the foothills of Mt. Talomo. But it was only in 2003 when they ventured into cacao farming.

Until 2012, the Puentespinas improved on cacao growing and post-harvest practices, built their factory and further refined their chocolate processes.

After years of rigorous testing and quality checks, the family established Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. and started making premium single-origin cocoa liquor and finally launched the Philippine-made Malagos Chocolate in June 2013.

Since then, Philippine cacao started to gain traction again and was made a priority crop.

Just last month, the Department of Agriculture officially declared Davao City as the Cacao Capital of the Philippines as the government moves to boost production of the high value commodity.

Davao City continues to be the top producer of cacao beans with close to 2,300 metric tons of output last year or about 38 percent of Davao region’s production.

The region contributed 5,960.23 MT or 70 percent of the total national output in 2019.

Davao has been consistently producing high-quality beans, contributing an average of 80 percent to the total volume produced throughout the country.

Cacao beans from Davao have been recognized as one of the world’s best and is now one of the most sought-after beans by chocolate makers from the US, Japan and Europe.

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