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When chocolate’s more than just good

Robb Hicken

Robb Hicken

There’s never any harm in eating a good, semi-sweet piece of chocolate. That rich succulent flavor bursts into your mouth, caresses the tongue, and provides a momentary rush of joy to the palate.

If there ever were a time when someone said chocolate is now the eighth evil sin, I guess I’d just be doomed.

My mother always told me that I took too long to eat a chocolate, but I contended it wasn’t in the eating that was the enjoyment, but rather the enjoyment of the chocolate that was worth the eating.

I should have started this column off by saying, “Hi, my name is Robb, and I’m a chocoholic.”

That being said, I know my limitations on consumption. I’m still a svelte 184 pounds. I’ve limited my intake carefully.

But, recently, I think I’ve met my match in being considered a connoisseur of fine chocolate.

Paul Frantellizzi, of Boise, has me topped by miles, I mean literally. His love for chocolate – fine, sweet and joyous – has led him right to the source of the chocolate product.

When I finally caught up with Paul, he was driving from one meeting to another. He was excited because he had finally gotten the company he’d been backing for the past two years off the ground and it was making headway – finally looking for external financing.

“It’s the dream chocolate,” he said. “It’s nutritional, healthy and has a full body flavor.”

Paul’s chocolate, now under production in Boise, is called GoodCacao. For those who don’t know the origin (straight from Wikipedia): Theobroma cacao (Mayan: kakaw, Nahuatl: Cacahuatl), also cacao tree and cocoa tree, is a small (15-26 feet tall) evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae), native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate.

The beans produced in these trees are harvested, roasted and ground.

When I said Paul has literally traveled further in his discovery of the perfect chocolate, I should have said he has also gone farther in his investigation.

He’s been all over the Americas looking for that perfect bean, and has located it in a region of Ecuador. In fact, he said, 70 percent of the cacao used in the new bar comes from Ecuador.

By adding what he calls nature’s top superfoods – 35 key ingredients – the company has developed a delicious, according to Paul, chocolate snack that delivers powerful antioxidants and core nutrients.

“It’s healthy and good,” he said.

Nature’s top superfoods are common ingredients, most found here in the region, he said. They’re called “exotic superfoods” but include: Acai, Noni, Maca, Hemp, Baobab, Lucuma, Cupuaçu, Maqui, Camu Camu, Bilberry, Black Currant, Pomegranate, Sweet Potato, Ginger Root, and more.

Hmmm…. Just living the dream.

But for Paul, the dream began eight years ago when he and his wife discovered the town of Stanley. Having grown up in New York, Paul said his real life came after they came to Idaho. He said it’s such a great place to work, live and raise a family.

Working with a local manufacturer in Boise, the product is ready to hit the shelves. He said he’s been doing major travel lately in promoting the chocolate bar to major candy makers and manufacturers and in trade shows.
“Everyone is just floored,” he said.

And, why wouldn’t they be? The scientific name Theobroma means “food of the gods.”

After all, it’s chocolate.

Robb Hicken is managing editor of the Idaho Business Review and was eating a piece of chocolate when he wrote this column.

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