A limited-edition chocolate bar that is made from the beans of ancient cacao trees in Ecuador and sells for $385 may very well be the world’s most expensive chocolate bar.
“We make chocolate with the oldest and the rarest variety of cacao on earth,” Jerry Toth, co-founder of To’ak, an Ecuadorian chocolate company, told FOX Business.
To’ak ages the beans for four years in a French oak cognac cask, which drives up the price tag.
The company has partnered with multiple retailers around the world including Harrods in London, 2beans in New York, Wally’s Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles as well as two locations in China.
The beans come from a native variety known as Nacional and were on the verge of extinction until Toth and his business partner, Carl Schweizer, stumbled across a valley in Ecuador that had a few old cacao trees left.
“We actually had DNA tests done to make sure they were 100% genetic matches to the Nacional beans,” Toth said.
The company said it has planted a seed bank of cacao trees in Ecuador to ensure production over the next decade.
The partners decided to establish To’ak in 2013 and produce limited-edition bars for chocoholics around the world. Since its launch, the company has completely sold out each edition of the bars it has released, with about 100 bars per edition.
“Our trees have extremely low yields, causing us to be limited on what we can produce,” he said.
If you’re on a budget, the company also offers a $355 chocolate bar that has been aged for two years in a single-malt whisky cask. Its first chocolate bar, the El Nino Harvest, sells for $275.
“It’s kind of like what you would do with a really expensive bottle of whiskey,” Toth said. “Our customers save it for a long time and wait for the right moment to break it out.”
As for taste, Toth describes his candy as a dark chocolate with caramel and fruit notes with hints of kelp and sea water.