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Saturday, November 12, 2022

A Sweet Escape: A Chocolate Break with the Diplomatic Corps

Consul General Elmer Cato and Ms. Raquel Toquero-Choa (Photo by Nikka Arenal)

New York – The Philippine Consulate General in New York, as part of its economic diplomacy efforts, organized a chocolate sommelier-guided Philippine artisanal chocolate tasting session, attended by some members of the Diplomatic Corps, on Thursday, 27 October 2022, at the Philippine Center.

During the one-hour chocolate break, a variety of chocolates produced by The Chocolate Chamber (TCC), an artisanal chocolate brand based in Cebu, was introduced to the participants, such as tablea as a drink, choco-mango nugget, tartufini, whole cacao nib praline, and hand-rolled truffle. Apart from the regular chocolates offered, the participants were treated to two different chocolate dips, prepared on the spot, by Ms. Raquel Toquero-Choa, founder of TCC, who goes by the title, “Chocolate Queen.” The dips were then used on suman (Philippine sticky rice cakes) and churros (Spanish fried dough), which were provided during the session.

Representatives from Consulates/Missions of Republic of Peru, Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of Türkiye, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Republic of Indonesia, and Kingdom of Cambodia took a respite from work to partake in this indulgent gustatory experience.

Ms. Raquel Toquero-Choa provides an overview of The Chocolate Chamber (TCC) and introduces Philippine cacao and chocolates to the guests. (Photo by Nikka Arenal)

During her presentation, The Chocolate Queen shared her vision of bringing the Philippines’ chocolate-drinking tradition, “tsokolate de batirol,” (hot chocolate prepared using a batirol[1]) to the global audience, and of introducing Philippine cacao and chocolates to the global market.

Consul General Elmer G. Cato, in his welcome remarks, said that “Cacao has been in the Philippines for over 300 years, thanks to the Spanish Galleon trade that brought them from Acapulco, Mexico to Manila. The Philippines, therefore has a very strong cacao heritage that we would like to share with you and the rest of the world.”

Currently, TCC has several stand-alone outlets and supplies major international hotels and resorts, such as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Manila Polo Club, Shangri-La Mactan Cebu, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, NuStar Resort and Casino, The Manila Hotel, South Palms Resort Bohol, and Seda Hotels.

To know more about TCC, you may visit their social media platforms at Facebook: Instagram: @thechocolatechamber

[1] A traditional wooden mixing tool held by rubbing one’s palms together


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