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Idilio chocolate bars
Idilio chocolate bars
Véronique Zbinden

BASEL — Niklaus Blumer is an architect by training, and his partner Pascal Wirth is an economist. These two men from the Swiss city of Basel are the unlikely creators of Idilio Origins, a brand that specializes in pure, designated-origin Grand Cru chocolate. They tell of prospecting in Latin America in search of a cacao evocative of pre-Colombian sacred tradition.

They arrived in a village in the state of Aragua on the Venezuelan Atlantic Coast, gringo-style: hands in pockets, tanned complexions, self-assured. The pair wanted to know if the farmers had any beans for sale. “We introduced ourselves as Swiss chocolate makers, but in fact it didn’t take them long to figure us out, as we’d never seen a cacao tree in our lives,” Blumer says, dissolving into laughter. That was 10 or so years ago, and in view of how far the young brand Idilio has come, they are completely justified in laughing about those early days.

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