Where to find the best chocolate? Of course, in Bohol, home of the world-renowned Chocolate Hills!
Bohol’s “Dalareich 100% Unsweetened Chocolate” of Dalareich Food Products (DFP) based in Tagbilaran City has won a Gold Award in the prestigious international London-based Academy of Chocolate Awards 2019.
According to Dalareich Polot, the general manager of DFP, it is the first time that the Philippines got the Gold Award since the international chocolate award started in 2015 on all the categories.
“My mom and I are so happy because we were able to go to college because of tableya,” said Dalareich who helped the family business since 1994.
Her mother Elsa, owner of DFP, shared that there was no secret that her tableya won internationally with more than 1,500 entries representing producers from 46 nations, making it the most successful year in the history of the awards.
“It’s 100% pure unsweetened chocolate we called tableya,” she said.
It was first time for Dalareich to send an entry to the international chocolate award based in London and “Dalareich 100% Unsweetened Chocolate” got the Gold award under drinking chocolate together with Laguna-based Auro Chocolate.
Other Philippine companies such as Malagos Chocolate, Theo and Philo, also got silver and bronze awards from different categories.
The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals, united in the belief that eating fine chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures.
The Academy campaigns for better chocolate and to promote a greater awareness of the difference between fine chocolate and the mass-produced chocolate confectionery which most of us eat.
Dalareich grew up in a family that ran a business of making tableya since 1994. She accompanied her grandmother Tomasa in selling anchovies and tableya in the neighborhood.
Elsa, 54, inherited the small business when Tomasa passed away in 2000.
Elsa, then a street cleaner, and husband Ricardo Polot made tableya on the side to augment their income. But their sideline helped the couple send their five children to college –Irene, 33; Dalareich, 30; Renel, 27; Jessa, 24; and Angelah, 20.
Although a graduate of Computer Engineering, Dalareich helped her parents innovate their products and market it to local merchants.
Dalareich, 30, has been known as the “Chocolate Princess” in Bohol. She established the first and only Chocolate House in the province after studying in Belgium.
From her mother’s tableya, Dalareich launched her own chocolate line—“Ginto Luxury Chocolates”, which has already been showcased in international chocolate exhibits, along with other local brands.
“I want to make chocolates not only tableya on the island of Chocolate Hills in Bohol,” she said.
To preserve the cacao farming in Bohol, Dalareich launched Adopt-a-Cacao tree advocacy campaign to encourage Boholanos to take care of the cacao trees that had been planted near their houses.
“We believe that there are more than 10,000 historical cacao trees in each town across Bohol,” she said.
For her, she wants Bohol known not for the Chocolate Hills but also the home of Chocolates.
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