The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist
Carl von Linné (*1707-†1778), who called it "Theobroma cacao" ("cocoa, food of the gods").
This was the first contribution of Sweden to the world of chocolate...
Just like pepper or coffee, this beautiful name, cocoa, is associated for many people
with exotic adventures in remote countries.
As a child, travelling the world was irresistibly attracting me and this is indeed
how these wonderful products first got my attention.
My chance was given to me by my father, through whom I discovered early the world
of plantations in Africa.
As a Swedish diplomat, my father first worked for the Embassy in Paris in 1945.
Years later his journey took him further South to Cameroon,
where he ran a trading company, until, eventually,
he settled in Madagascar in the 1970's after he had taken over various
plantations on the island.
So it is in Madagascar, at our family estates, that my journey
through the fascinating world of cocoa, spices and other delicious natural
wonders really started. There I have learned over the years the secrets
and subtleties of managing and developing plantations.
Today, our family plantations in Madagascar and in Brazil supply world famous
chocolatiers and chefs with our much appreciated products.
In close collaboration with these passionate artists,
I experienced the fascinating artwork to conjure cocoa into chocolate and how pepper
enhances recipes and, ultimately,
I launched ÅKESSON´S, a small and exclusive line of chocolate and fine exotic foods.
ÅKESSON´S philosophy is to produce the most tasteful,
authentic and ethic products or carefully source them from some of the
best farms around the world in order to deliver the highest standards.
Åkesson’s Chocolate Sweeps Up at the Academy of Chocolate AwardsAt his family’s plantation in Madagascar, Bertil Åkesson of Åkesson’s chocolate grows cacao and pepper and turns them both into delightful chocolate. Three of his bars recently won awards at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London. He faced some of the world’s greatest chocolatiers and came away with a hat trick. Congratulations to Bertil! Here are the descriptions for his winning bars.
Brazil 75%Our Brazil 75% bar is made with an astonishing forastero variety of cocoa called “parasinho” that grows in Brazil’s Mata Atlântica – the wild forest with the highest biodiversity on earth – where we purchased a 120-hectare plantation. This chocolate is very smooth and has very expressive notes that evoke wood, autumn scents, and the local pitanga fruit.
Bali 45% milk chocolate & fleur de sel (picture will follow)Our 45% milk chocolate bar is the first Balinese single-origin bar ever made in Europe. This chocolate holds a caramelized flavor resulting from the use of natural sugar produced from the juice of coconut blossoms, harvested by gently slicing the flower. Once collected, the nectar is kettle-boiled into a thick caramel and ground to a fine crystal. With a very low glycemic index, this sugar is a great and healthy match for our Balinese fleur de sel. The cocoa is produced by the Sukrama family on seven hectares in the Melaya area in the western part of the island.
Madagascar 75% Criollo cocoaOur Madagascar 75% bar has a very expressive cocoa aroma with subtle fruity-sweet tartness and pleasant flavor notes that evoke citrus and red berries, the true taste of the very best cocoa beans from Madagascar. Our 2,300-hectare family estate in the Sambirano Valley in northwestern Madagascar has produced world-famous aromatic cocoa since 1920. Besides 300 tons per year of trinitario cocoa, a very limited production of criollo cocoa – two tons per year -is harvested separately
Åkesson’s produces several other bars, including one with voatsiperifery pepper, a wild pepper that grows on creeping vines up to 20 meters (that’s 65 feet!) up in the tree canopy.
All of Åkesson’s chocolates are available in my shop: http://www.patisserievercruysse.be/