Belize. Was British Honduras for a long time, until 1973 when it became the country we know now. On the Eastern edge of Mexico proper (like Portugal is to Spain in a way), home to the Mayan empire. And they make chocolate. Darned good chocolate.
I visited Belize this summer of 2022 and was taken by the super cool people, the uber-swimmable and snorkelable Caribbean, and their chocolate. I had no idea Belizean chocolate was a thing. (Of course, I barely knew much of anything about Belize until I started planning a trip there.) It turns out, the Mayans lived there for years. And the Mayans did chocolate, and they did it right. That history can be found in what I initially assumed would be a run-o-the-mill chocolate bar in the Brukdown — but what turned into a great cocoa experience.
Simply put, the Brukdown is damn good chocolate.
Not too sweet, and you can really taste the three main ingredients: cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and sugar. Because that’s how they make this stuff. It really is that simple.
In Belize, I got a lesson on how they make chocolate from the owner of the Belize Chocolate Company. And not only was the lesson incredibly enlightening, the chocolate he gave us was so tasty. Not dull, general cocoa or simply sweet and creamy. Rather, it was robust — with undertones of other flavors. I learned that cocoa is very much a product of its environment. Cocoa is like grape varietals, different by region. Belize cocoa is fruity.
So the brunkdown bar… not made by Belize Chocolate Company (trying not to confuse things here)… Is milk chocolate. Milk, sure. Yet with much deeper cacao flavor than Most American milk chocolate bars. Milk chocolate bars need at least 10% cacoa – that’s international trade law. Where Dark requires at least 50%. Even though milk chocolate only ‘legally’ needs to be 10, this one has 50% — so it’s depth of flavor is way more robust than most milks.
The Brukdown was creamy, flavorful and a good size. It has chopped almonds too, which gave it a Toblerone feel. Another +1.
Plus, these are organic bars, and all the cocoa is born and bred in Belize.
I should have bought 10 of these things. I bought one. Duh.
So I’ll be buying online. And I suggest you do too.