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Ruby chocolate makes its striking debut in South Africa

Belgian-Swiss cocoa company Barry Callebaut officially unveiled ruby chocolate in September last year, much to the delight of confectioners, chefs and average chocolate-loving consumers around the globe.

Following the sacred trio comprising dark, milk and white, ruby is hailed as the fourth type of chocolate – the first to be launched in 80 years. It owes its Instagram-friendly natural blush hue to the fact that it's made from the ruby cocoa bean, which thrives in cacao growing countries like Brazil, Ecuador and Ivory Coast. After discovering the new bean, it purportedly took Callebaut 13 years to perfect the process and formula for making the actual chocolate.

The ruby variety uses no flavourants and the taste is said to be one of intense fruitiness, with fresh and sour notes, suited primarily for confectionery applications.

Callebaut sells its products to businesses, not consumers, which means that it had little control over when ruby chocolate would hit retail shelves. Nestlé was one of the first companies to introduce the chocolate to consumers in January 2018, when it launched a ruby chocolate version of Kit Kat in Japan and South Korea, and later in Europe, the Americas and further afield.

Image credit: Nestlé

Just last week, ruby chocolate made its first appearance in South Africa when it launched at the Chocolate Academy in Johannesburg, which was opened by Barry Callebaut in May this year.

Locally, ruby chocolate can currently be found in various marvelous forms at artisanal chocolatiers My Sugar in Cape Town and Chocoloza in Johannesburg, the chefs of which wasted little time before showcasing the confections they created from their newly-prized ruby stocks.

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About Lauren Hartzenberg

Retail editor and lifestyle contributor at Cape Town apologist. Food fanatic. Dog mom. Get in touch: