Oakland Chocolate Company Wins Medals

Its Jamaican Jerk Caramels and Strawberry Cardamom Caramels were big winners.


Image courtesy of TasteTV

Oakland's own Oakland Chocolate Company won multiple medals in the 2019 International Chocolate Salon, whose results were announced this week.

The Oakland Chocolate Company is a worker-owned cooperative partnering candy makers here in the East Bay with farmers in Jamaica's Parish of St. Mary.

General manager Nancy Nadel first became interested in Jamaican chocolate while talking with Steve Belnaviz, a farmer based in Islington, north of Kingston. After the first organic co-op organizing meeting took place in 2008, the Jamaican Cocoa Farmers Association was formed. Today Nadel buys beans from the JCFA directly.

The OCC's 70% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Bar won a gold medal in the "Best Taste" category of the competition's "chocolate bars" division. In that same division, its 70% Candied Curry Coconut Bar won a bronze medal in the "Most Unique" category.

In the "caramels" division, the OCC's Jamaican Jerk Caramels won a bronze medal in the "Best Taste" category. Its Strawberry Cardamom Caramels won an honorable mention in that same category.

Another Oakland chocolatier also scored honors. In the competition's "vegan" division, Oakland-based Flying Noir's V'Aria Collection won three bronze medals: in the "Best Ingredient Combinations" category, the "Best Taste" category, and the "Most Unique" category. 

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