Toak Chocolate - $260 per 50 gram bar

Scott
@scott
10/21/14 05:18:20PM
44 posts

Clay called for the $100 chocolate bar.The good folks behind Toak Chocolate answered the call with enthusiasm. Rare and secret Ecuadorian cacao, so delicately flavored that one must handle it withtweezers made of Spanish elm to avoid commingling its aroma with that of the oils from one's skin.

Scott


updated by @scott: 04/09/15 06:37:35AM
Gap
@gap
10/21/14 07:13:36PM
182 posts

The (second) article you link to says a 50 ounce bar but it looks a little small for that in the photos. Undeniably expensive either way, but I was wondering if you had tracked down something else which indicated to you the bar was 50g?

Gap
@gap
10/21/14 07:17:57PM
182 posts

Answered my own question. The photo on the Toak website at the bottom of this page says 50g

http://toakchocolate.com/tasting/the-wine-analogy/

Clay Gordon
@clay
10/25/14 02:11:46AM
1,680 posts

The front of the box says 50gr in one of the pictures on the site, which is beautiful and may be one of the best produced and illustrative sites of its kind I have seen.

I may have tasted this while I was in Per in July. I base this solely on the fact that one of the quotes about the chocolate was from Idaly Farfn - and she tasted me on some new project she was working on. I will have to email her and ask. If these are one and the same then this is a pretty special chocolate but I don't know that $5000/kg is where I would peg the starting price (which they say barely covers the cost of production).

My issues with the presentation are simple, yet deep:

1) The point of the $100 bar is that the chocolate itself has to be the reason for the price. The Spanish Elm box and the tweezers (has anybody else ever heard about fingerprint oils despoiling the aroma of chocolate?) are a bit too over the top for me.

2) When I read their stuff I get the impression these guys think they invented the analogy between chocolate and wine. But they do hit on a lot of important points that indicate they've been well schooled. 2014 Wet Harvest. The prose seems more than a little over the top. Which segues into the next point:

3) In an online article about this bar the makers are reported to have been talking about the evolution of chocolate tasting/pairing events and how in 5 years they will be all over the place. Hello? What's been going on for the past dozen years? This is something I saw coming 20 years ago and have been actively promoting since 2001 - along with hundreds of other people, many of whom I know. These days, the press just seems to run with any statement and does little or no fact checking or background research to verify statements that get made.

4) I've heard of artificial scarcity before, but 574, 50gr bars takes it to a new place entirely. In case no one else did the math, that is 28.7 kilos of chocolate. At 81% even using Nacional trees, that might be 100 trees? At $260/bar the maximum retail value of the project is about $150,000. That said, even at this price, with only 574 units to sell and they hype around it - they are likely to sell out.

The topic of the $100 bar came up while I was in London at the Academy of Chocolate conference. One of the points I make - and this bar does not address that point at all - is that there needs to be money in the system to pay for critics and educators to tell people why it's okay to spend $50, $100, $260 on a no-compromise chocolate made without any gimmicks (and there are at least two elements of gimmickry here - the tweezers and the very limited availability). Unfortunately, the lack of availability does not address the much larger issues - at least as I see them.

:: Clay

PS.Iwouldlike to know if samples are available for bona fide members of the press to taste and write about.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
10/25/14 04:48:52AM
527 posts

There's a sucker born every minute (525,600 every year), so it shouldn't be hard to unload 574 bars....

Larry2
@larry2
10/25/14 11:55:54PM
110 posts
I think one of the selling points is the fancy box and tweezers. Like the label and impressive displays of decanting wine etc... (I don't drink so I have an outsider view here) the very unique presentation will give the host who shares a bar with his/her guests a grandiose sense of pride. The guests who may it may not have sophisticated palates will feel delighted and cared for because the host spent the lage sum on a bar. It is also sure to taste better because of the perceived quality.Wasn't there a Harvard wine tasteing party that was duped with wine from switched bottles? (The plain wine in expensive bottles tasted 'better' than fancy wine in cheap bottles.Another thing they've done is put away a stock of vars which will be aged and released later.This should help build data on how chocolate ages.It is expensive, but aren't we all selling an experience?
Jeff
@jeff
10/26/14 02:47:30PM
94 posts

this is a travesty. It in no way defines the concept of a 100$ chocolate bar. This is pure unadulterated marketing. plain and simple. while they will certainly sell every bar they have, only a fool would believe they made 1 batch of 28 kilos. That is one tank in a cocoatown. This is not real. The website is beautiful, for sure, but the story of these beans and the process is a bit muddy. rare secret trees....yet they have 14 farmers?....which is it guys?

whatever....like NOKA this will disappear....

ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
10/29/14 10:18:10PM
251 posts

To'ak Chocolate founder Jerry Toth was on a news segment debuting his $260 bars. http://www.wciu.com/videos/youandme/-260-chocolate-bars

As is typical, the news hosts seemed to know very little about artisan chocolate. The host on the left took a small bite, then at 6:32 she dropped her piece out of the small wood tweezer onto the ground! Hilarious! (Her original piece was ~1/16th of the bar, so it was worth ~$16. After her little bite, the piece that dropped was probably priced ~$10.)

Scott
@scott
12/01/14 07:12:24PM
44 posts

Rave review of Toakfrom Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila.

Jeff
@jeff
12/01/14 07:32:45PM
94 posts

Ok just watched it. Pure hype. He deferred to his website constantly. Its marketing garbage. Watch his eyes; even he doesn't believe the horse shit he is spewing.

Jeff
@jeff
12/01/14 07:33:01PM
94 posts

She succumbed to the BS in person....

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