Dr. Eric Durtschi of Durci
Posted by Coleen L on March 05, 2016. 0 Comments
The son of a candy maker, Dr. Eric Durtschi of Durci had an intense passion for all things chocolate from an early age and started developing dessert recipes at 8 years old. He decided to pursue a profession in health and wellness, and as a chiropractor, he was frequently asked to offer diet and healthy living advice. During his research, he learned that cocoa (or cacao) was an amazing superfood in its unadulterated state. He began development of the world’s first brewed cocoa in 2007.
Dr. Durtschi purchases premium cocoa beans directly from cocoa farmers. He also discovered and developed methods of processing cacao beans that help to retain more of the cocoa’s beneficial compounds. Working directly with farmers from across the world for almost 10 years now, he teaches them superior processing techniques that help them earn a premium for their beans as well as provide some of the finest cocoa beans available. He encountered challenges initially as his ideas for harvesting and fermenting went against industry norms. The farmers would agree over the phone to prepare the beans according to his methods but when he received the samples, he could tell that his guidelines had not been followed. This was one of the main reasons why he started visiting the farms personally and showing firsthand what he wanted and why. Then it became clear and he was able to get some amazing results from the new techniques that pleased both him and the farmers.
Dr. Durtschi also has a unique approach to chocolate making. Roasting, winnowing and tempering methods are pretty standard, but he found that he had to use different machines in the grinding and refining stage. When he first started making chocolate, he used a small batch grinder like many people and found that there were many amazing flavor notes at different stages in the grinding process. However, if he continued to grind until it was smooth enough for typical chocolate, many of those flavor notes were muted or entirely lost. This led him to find a solution for taking the winnowed bean and finding a way to refine it to a particle size under 12 microns all in the course of a few minutes!! This freed him up to be able to customize each bean and really highlight some under-played flavor notes, even for the beans that are commonly used.
For Durci, its mission is simply to help chocolate lovers rediscover how wonderful chocolate can be. It begins, naturally, with superior cocoa beans from the fertile farmlands of South and Central America. With the goal of producing more complex and unique flavor notes than those produced by traditional methods, each step in Durci's chocolate-making process is critical and the same care continues as the chocolate bars are finished in its small factory at the base of the Wasatch Range in Utah.