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Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar Review

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I received an email from John asking which UK chocolate makers use Peruvian white cacao beans to make their chocolate. I instantly headed to my list of bean-to-bar chocolate makers to find out who stocks such bars.

Solkiki's 78% Dark Peru Gran Nativo Blanco bar (£7.50) was one bar I found, as was J. Cocoa's 72% Gran Nativo Dark Chocolate bar (£3.95).

I also found a bar over on Seed Chocolate's website that used Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco in an unroasted bar - a "raw" chocolate bar if you will. It claims it source the "finest ultra premium cacao beans" to produce this bar.

Fast forward to the annual World Chocolate Day and I couldn't pass on the opportunity to purchase a chocolate bar made with what is often described as the some of the finest cacao beans in the world, could I?

What are Peruvian White Cacao Beans?

First off, let's discuss why Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco (literally translated as "Grand Native White") Cacao Beans are special.

Back in 2011, the New York Times reported on an unexpected discovery from 2009 by Dan Pearson and his stepson Brian Horsely. They'd rediscovered one of the rarest and most prized varieties of cacao on the planet thought to be extinct - pure Nacional cacao. Part of the Forastero family, Nacional cacao is a troublesome crop that succumbs to disease and cross-breading, so discovering a stock of pure Nacional is incredibly fortunate. The pair now run Marañón Chocolate that sells couverture, produced by Felchin, using Fortunato beans.

Intercacao, however, dates the rediscovery of the variety to 2008 in San Juan de Bigotes, Alto Piura, in northern Peru. It claims that under the direction of the Cooperative Norandino and Eduardo Tamariz, small cacao producers identified the best trees and successfully reintroduced this old varietal cacao to the region.

Juliet Bray suggests it was in fact 2007 when Pierrick Chouard, co-founder of Vintage Plantations Chocolates, recognised the significance of the white beans. She claims the white beans were treated as an abnormality of the cacao bean harvest and so were sold to the bulk cocoa powder and cocoa butter markets.

Either way, chocolate produced using Peruvian White Cacao Beans is said to be rich and intense, often with a floral and citrus characteristic and a distinct lack of bitterness.

The prized cacao even got the attention of the late, great Anthony Bourdain who hiked the mountains of Peru in search of white cacao beans in his Parts Unknown documentary.


Back to Seed Chocolate's 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar. As with the Vegan 40% Hibiscus White Chocolate bar and the Coffee, Quinoa & Magnolia Dark Chocolate bar I reviewed, this bar also arrives in a simple plastic bag. Ordinarily, it would be a plant-based film but packaging shortages at the time I ordered meant regular plastic film was used.

Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar Review
The chocolate bar is wrapped in a heat sealed plastic pouch

A sticker on the front carries the Seed Chocolate logo, while the sticker on the rear contains a customised ingredients list. The handwritten information lists the product name, ingredients (a whole two of them!), batch number, and best before date.

Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar ingredients:
Organic cacao beans, organic cacao butter.

As a 100% unroasted vegan raw chocolate bar, this chocolate bar contains just two ingredients - cacao beans and cacao butter. It's as pure as it gets, and should allow the Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco cacao beans to shine proudly in the flavour. As a result, it's gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.

Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar Review

Parcel courier Yodel had badly damaged the shipping carton for my order, so it wasn't a surprise to see this chocolate bar arrive in two pieces.

Exhibiting a slightly mottled surface, the bar is made using the same cacao pod mould as Seed's other bars, but it feels like a perfect fit for this 100% chocolate bar.

Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar
The bar was broken in transit and exhibited a mottled sheen

This bar demonstrated a robust and rich aroma with notes of wood, toast, and Brazil nuts at the forefront. I picked up gentle smokey notes and vivid red fruit notes that came through alongside.

The bar had a clean and crisp snap, which made portioning very easy. I preferred eating this in small pieces so stretched out my enjoyment of this bar over many weeks.

The chocolate had a relatively high melting point, so it took a while to yield to bodily heat in my mouth.

Once it gave in, a mild dryness kicked in as smokey notes appeared right at the back. These ramped up alongside a mild bitterness. Notes of molasses developed, as did notes of toast and nuts. There was a very subtle fruitiness that shone through as a lively dimension that helped tame the bitter qualities.

The intensity built up to a climax where the chocolate vanished, leaving behind a soft, mildly bitter, yet robust, cocoa flavour with a confident depth and richness. This aftertaste lingered for a long time.

Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar Pieces
A close-up view of the 100% raw chocolate bar

This bar wasn't as aggressive as some 100% cacao bars I've tried. But just like other 100% chocolate bars, it's not something you'll wolf down in one sitting. It's a confident, full-bodied chocolate that demands a healthy respect.

This is certainly a characterful chocolate bar, and it would be great for chocolate and whiskey pairings, chocolate and cheese pairings, or chocolate and wine pairings.

If you like dark chocolate but have yet to brave 100% cocoa, this is a great example of the clean and pure flavours you can discover in a bean-to-bar chocolate bar.

Seed Chocolate 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar Review

RRP: £7.95 | Seed Chocolate | Shop now

Perhaps too intense for some, this is a fine example should you wish to experience the flavour of pure unadulterated chocolate. It's a bar you'll savour in small quantities and begs to be used in fun chocolate pairings at home or at dinner parties.

Score: 4.4

Where to Buy Online

You can buy this bar directly on the Seed Chocolate website (£7.95).

In normal times, you’ll also find Seed Chocolate at regional food festivals and events around Staffordshire.

Do you have a favourite Gran Nativo Blanco chocolate bar? Let me know your favourite examples is the comments below.

Disclosure: I purchased a 70g 100% Cacao Unroasted Peruvian Gran Nativo Blanco Bar from Seed Chocolate for £4.76. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

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