I cannot talk about chocolate without mentioning Ghanaian chocolate. As the #2 producer of cocoa in the world (#1 being Ivory Coast) it would not be too far-fetched to believe that a lot of chocolate out there originates from Ghanaian cocoa beans.
But, there’s only one that is processed locally from the choicest premium Ghana cocoa beans and that is Golden Tree.
Golden Tree is produced by the Cocoa Processing Company Limited (CPC) which is a partially privatised, government owned, state-run company established in 1965 whose main production is the processing of cocoa beans into semi-finished products (cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake, cocoa powder) for export.
It has been a few years since I had a Golden Tree chocolate bar. However I recall my first memorable memories of it. I developed my chocolate addiction in Germany so when we returned to Ghana when I was a pre-teen, I remained quite interested in chocolate. Kingsbite, Golden Tree’s milk chocolate bar was dull, not shiny like the chocolate bars I was used to. It was dry and did not melt in my mouth. It tasted very strongly like cocoa, very earthy, almost like coffee (which I do not drink). In short, it tasted nothing like the chocolates I was used to. That might not sound like a rave review, but I’m just honestly giving my first impression of it. I actually would welcome a Kingsbite today because in time I realized that what makes this different is the pureness of the chocolate.
I’ve had Golden Tree chocolate outside of Ghana, brought over by friends or family and it actually doesn’t taste quite the same as it does on Ghanaian soil. I don’t know why. I do know that it is manufactured to withstand the African sun for it is sold very frequently by roadside vendors who stand out in the hot sun all day long. Cadbury’s wouldn’t stand a chance!
I’m actually quite proud that Ghana has locally made Ghanaian chocolate for the Ghanaian populace. The country actually tries to boost consumption of it by making each February 14th the National Chocolate Day. These efforts are sometimes twarthed by power outages and factory short-comings that results in low supply of chocolates and high costs. I think the last time I was back in Ghana, there was no Golden Tree chocolate to be found, whether on the roadside or in the stores, because of a shortage like this. That’s a shame really. But when there’s chocolate, it’s fresh, fresh, fresh…and delicious!
I haven’t had Golden Tree’s dark chocolate, called Portem Pride, but my favourite chocolate bar is actually the lemon-flavoured milk chocolate called Akuafo. Mmmmm!
Golden Tree has won several international awards for excellence. It honestly is chocolate without all the additives, sugar, and what not that the European chocolates have. It will take some getting used to if your taste-buds are acclimated to European chocolates, but it’s very worthy of a try if you can get your hands on it even if that means getting on Ghanaian soil yourself. I think the packaging is beautiful especially with the Kente pattern on it, a uniquely Ghanaian product. I also love that each square has a star on it, and with each bite I’m reminded of the Black Star of Ghana – the lodestar of the freedom struggle of the African diaspora.