An indulgent, decadent dark chocolate bar with delicate top notes of raspberry, this Castronovo Zorzal 72% Amelonado Cacao bar is luscious on the palate and an exquisite treat! Think rich chocolate cake with a just touch of raspberry coulis
Happy Chocolate Anniversary to Denise Castronovo! The perfect way to mark this momentous occasion is with a 10th Anniversary special edition bar using cocoa beans from the country where she created her very first chocolate masterpiece - the Dominican Republic.
Denise is a rare gem for so many reasons, but perhaps one of the things that I find most remarkable about her as a chocolate maker is that she never made any “mistake” bars! Most chocolate makers wax poetic when they travel back in time to their early days of crafting their less-than-perfect novice bars. Denise made delicious bars straight out of the gate! Denise, herself, is incredulous when she recounts, “To my surprise, [my first bars] tasted better than any dark chocolate I had ever tried. It inspired me to spread my wings into chocolate making.” Celebrate her victory of edible craftsmanship by savoring this commemorative chocolate!
In the fall of 2022 at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, Denise met fellow ecologist Charles Kerchner, the founder of Zorzal Cacao. Zorzal Cacao is a private reserve of mountainous rainforest in the Duarte province of the Dominican Republic where organic cacao production finances biodiversity conservation for birds and other wildlife. It is not surprising that this economic model appeals to Denise as she was formerly an ecologist and preservationist after having studied environmental science and economics in undergrad and graduate school.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Denise Castronovo, the maker of this fine chocolate bar. Denise leads the pack of solo female chocolate makers, a rare breed and a group I love to support. She is the only one among them whose U.S. bean-to-bar company has amassed dozens of awards from the International Chocolate Awards (as well as Academy of Chocolate Awards and Good Food Awards).
Denise had always been a foodie and fine chocolate lover thanks to an aunt who lived in Switzerland and kept her supplied with spectacular chocolate bars that were unavailable in the United States. Those bars, far superior to any chocolate she had ever tasted, made an impact that imprinted on her soul. After a long and successful career dedicated to protecting the environment through mapping technology and spatial analysis, Denise and her husband moved from Massachusetts to Florida, where she decided to approach protection of the environment from a far tastier perspective.
The fact that Denise’s first batch of chocolate turned out absolutely delicious, kept her motivated to make more!
For Denise, making bean-to-bar craft chocolate is a way to improve lives and livelihoods of indigenous people. She insists on protecting the rainforests by supporting natural utilization of the land. None of Denise Castronovo’s beans come from manicured cacao plantations that had once been lush rainforests, cut down in the name of profit. All of the cacao beans she uses to make her luscious bars and treats either grow naturally in the wild or come from small, family-owned farms where cacao just happens to be one of their crops.
Denise is an inspired artisan as well as a steward of the land and protector of indigenous communities. Her chocolate is exceptional, and I know you will appreciate the fine flavor of her bars as well as her commitment to nurturing the natural world and its inhabitants.
- Ingredients: Organic Cocoa Beans, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter
- Net Weight: 62 g. / 2.2 oz.
- Country of Origin: USA