Goodnow Farms Nicaragua “El Carmen” Dark Chocolate Bar
Goodnow Farms Chocolate Bars
Goodnow Farms Chocolate Bars

Goodnow Farms Nicaragua El Carmen Dark Chocolate Bar

Goodnow Farms Chocolate
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Tasting Notes: Rich Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Hints of Raisin

It’s nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite bar among the multi-awarded Goodnow Farms lineup. Each bar is an exquisite masterpiece expression of the fine flavor bean it showcases. That said, I will admit that the three Goodnow Farms single origin dark chocolate bars I personally reach for the most are Nicaragua, Mexico, and Guatemala. This Nicaragua bar is a gold winner at the International Chocolate Awards.

All of the Goodnow bars are velvety, delicious perfection as they melt in your mouth, and the tasting notes indicated on each bar are exactly what reveal themselves to me as I savor. 

My advice: identify the tasting notes that light up the dopamine reward pathway in your brain just by reading them, and then click “Add to Cart.”

  • USA Gold -  International Chocolate Awards 2020-2021
  • Americas Silver - International Chocolate Awards 2020-2021
  • World Bronze - International Chocolate Awards 2020-2021
  • Gold - Chocolate Alliance Awards 2021
  • Silver - Academy of Chocolate 2021
  • Silver - Academy of Chocolate 2020


Now a little about the beans, the farmers and their process…

Bayardo  Benavidez Blandon is the farmer who owns and operates the 10-acre farm in the town of El Carmen, Nicaragua, where the cacao for this bar grows alongside other crops such as cardamom and fruit trees.


El Carmen cacao from Nicaragua


Bayardo’s farm is too small to generate the volume necessary to properly ferment the wet cacao (also known as “baba de cacao”). This is the situation that faces most of the owners of small farms in Nicaragua. Unfortunately, without the proper equipment, resources, and techniques, many farmers once felt compelled to sell their dried but unfermented fine flavor beans at local markets for prices that were way below their true value (unfermented fine flavor beans cannot develop their intrinsic rich and intense flavors). That’s where Giff Laube and Jose Enrique Herrera, owners of Cacao Bisiesto came to the rescue with their farm outside the town of Matagalpa in Nicaragua’s Central Highlands!

Giff and Jose understood the untapped potential of this “baba” coming from the local small farms and built a central fermentation and drying facility where they unlock all the luscious magic within each and every bean. They began reaching out to nearby farmers to buy their cacao for higher prices than they’d fetch at local markets. Giff and Jose have a vast knowledge of cacao post harvest practices that they’ve acquired from years of experience. They pay a premium for the beans while they educate farmers on the ideal practices for farming and propagating cacao.



Tom Rogan, the chocolate maker at Goodnow, has worked closely with Giff and Jose to customize a specific drying technique that brings the superbly rich, chocolaty notes of this bean to the fore.

Here is Tom (center) at origin with Bayardo on his right, and Bayardo’s cousin and fellow farmer, Leonel Blandon on the left. 


Tom Rogan (center) with farmers Leonel Blandon (left) and Bayardo Benavidez Blandon (right)


Tom and Monica Rogan, the excellent team behind Goodnow Farms Chocolate, have developed friendships with the cacao farmers whose fine flavor beans they meticulously source. This dynamic duo follows the beans, traveling directly to origin to secure outstanding, flavor-packed cacao.They’ve learned so much about post harvest practices and, as in the case of this Nicaragua bar, request that their farmer partners ferment and dry the beans according to their custom specifications.


 Tom and Monica pay significantly more than Fair Trade prices to ensure that farmers earn fair wages and engage in sustainable practices. 

Another reason why Goodnow Farms Chocolate is utterly superb is the fresh-pressed single origin cocoa butter that Tom and Monica incorporate into their bars. Many chocolate makers do not press their own cocoa butter, but these dedicated makers go above and beyond the standard to provide an authentic single origin experience, with cacao beans and butter hailing from the same terroir. This labor of love results in a rich, lusciously flavorful chocolate.

Every bar is lovingly made and wrapped by hand at the Rogans’ 225 year-old farm on Goodnow Road (named after one of the town’s first settlers) in Sudbury, Massachusetts.


  • Ingredients: Cocoa Beans, Organic Sugar, Fresh Pressed Cocoa Butter
  • Net Weight: 55 g./ 1.94 oz.
  • Country of Origin: USA