By: Robby Alugar
Chocolates are a small but integral part of people’s lives. They can be unassuming yet also a symbol of a grand gesture. They come as a new experience or evoke memories of a time long past filled with flavours of nostalgia.
This segment of RMA News showcases the wonderful world of chocolates as it finds a renaissance in the Cebuano culture. New-world artisans craft the Visayan variant of the cacao, Criollo. Let’s explore and create sweet memories as the sun rises and sets here on this Chocolate Island.
MAGNIFICENT CAKE FROM THE CHOCOLATE QUEEN
We were truly mesmerized by the time we opened the wonderfully designed box specially delivered from the Chocolate Queen Raquel Choa as her special gift for me in celebration of Father’s Day.
I was amazed even more when I saw the creatively designed cake adorned with lots of chocolates in different designs and shapes. Of course the molded chocolate teaspoon is placed on top of the cake. I must say only an artist like Raquel can make this kind of creation. At first, I do not want to eat the cake because I don’t want to ruin its design but as I continue to stare at it the more that I want to dig-in to its taste.
By the way, the cake I’ve got this afternoon was Cerveza Negra Cake. This cake is an ode to Raquel’s Lola. It puts back to the days when the Cerveza Negra, upon the prodding of Raquel’s grandmother, became her obligatory drink during her menstrual period. Country folks believed that drinking beer compensates iron loss during menstruation. The Torta de Cerveza Negra eliminates egg and milk as integral parts in baking this special cake. The Cerveza gives it a boost and provides a unique taste and aroma of the deep dark chocolate concoction attributed to the Cerveza Negra as a dark lager. Giving the cake further surprise are the cacao granules garnished on the cake with the mini crunch and grainy texture it provides.
My kids love the Chocolate Queen even more for she always makes sure to send some chocolate bars. Today, we’ve got the White Choco Nibs, Choco Mango Bar with Sea Salt, Choco Cayenne and the Choco Nib. I am deeply touched and grateful to Raquel that inspite of her busy schedule in preparing the orders from her clients, she still managed to decorate a special cake for me. A joy in my heart continues to flourish thinking of how Ma’am Raquel remembers me on this special occasion.
Another innovative creation of The Chocolate Chamber that was sent to us is the Chocoryza Chocolate Rice Crisps. Chocoryza is a tribute to the farmers of Bohol who cultivate the land tirelessly making the province the rice granary of Central Visayas. Guided by her passion and principle to innovate in the ever dynamic cacao venture, Chocolate Queen, Raquel Toquero-Choa, infuses tablea-pure cacao tablets and rice crisps to create one delicious experience. The illustration of Chocoryza packaging evokes appreciation to the wonders of nature as reflected by John Paul Choa’s, “Bohol’s Beauty”. John Paul is the 10-year old son of the Chocolate Queen who is fascinated by the works of Dutch post-impressionist painter, Vincent Willem Van Gogh. He dreams of painting Van Gogh’s works using chocolate. The original work of John Paul flaunts the natural geological monument of the province of Bohol, Chocolate Hills, and its lush greenery and cultivated rice fields. “Bohol’s Beauty” is one of the featured works Beyond Chocolate Series: Chocolate on Canvass by The Chocolate Chamber. Watch out for The Chocolate Chamber as it opens its door to the Boholanos in Panglao soon at Moadto Strip Mall.
Father’s Day Celebration was even more special and sweeter as we bonded together as one family with the varieties of cacao essentials on our table courtesy of Raquel Choa. There are many reasons to thank for this day and wishing all the Fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!