Held in the capital, Santo Domingo, the featured festival event included an official judging panel of domestic and international industry professionals and experts who evaluated the chocolate.
There was also a public judging panel of 400 consumers, each of whom received five random chocolates to evaluate, organizers said.
The official panel awarded nine winning chocolates in the three categories according to physical appearance, mouthfeel, fragrance, flavour-aroma balance, global quality and global impression:
Gold: Milz Chocolat 50% cocoa with milk
Gold: ChocoPunto 70% cocoa
Silver: Milz Chocolat 70% cocoa
Bronze: ChocoPunto 78% cocoa
Gold: Milz Chocolat 50% cocoa with milk and coffee
Silver: Definite Chocolate 57% cocoa with cashew milk and macadamia
Silver: KahKow Vestige 65% cocoa
Bronze: Choco Punto 78% unsweetened cocoa with cocoa nibs
The People’s Choice award was also won by Milz for its milk and dark chocolate, with CONACADO winning the Experimental Chocolate award with its 70% dehydrated and candied tomato option.
The Dominican Chocolate Festival and Dominican Chocolate Competition are initiatives of Exporting Quality, a USDA-funded programme implemented in the Dominican Republic by IESC to promote the diversity of Dominican fine cacao in chocolate while educating the domestic and international consumers about Dominican chocolate.
The Dominican Republic is a global leader of organic cocoa producing a unique, high-quality and fine cocoa, and exporting 70,000 tonnes each year. The Caribbean country boasts 150,000 hectares planted with cocoa by 40,000 producers, with 36,236 farms registered, of which 16.5% are engaged in the production of organic cocoa.