A family in Spain has created a chocolate bonbon filled with olive oil, and hopes to market the treats around the globe.
The unusual chocolate and olive-oil mixture is a “contrast of flavors that leaves no palate indifferent,” according to Cristóbal Sánchez Arán, co-founder of AOVE lasolana2, who says he developed the idea while testing recipes for Christmas.
The candy — 72 percent bitter black chocolate filled with extra virgin olive oil — are called Bocaditos de AOVE. They are produced in a partnership with LaVirgitana, a Spanish maker of artisan chocolates. The chocolates are packaged under both the La Virgitana and AOVE lasolana2 brands.
The candies are just the latest effort from a family of olive oil growers and aficionados.
Sánchez Arán told Olive Oil Times that he and his wife, Maria Luisa, both work as bankers. But when they leave their jobs at the end of the day, they and their children turn their attention to the small olive plantation they own just north of Almeria.
The family is “surely one of the small producers of quality extra virgin olive oil in the world,” he said. “We have 1,100 olive trees and produce an average between 3,000 and 4,000 liters of olive oil per year.”
The entire family works the fields. Sánchez Arán also handles marketing, sales and accounting.
Sánchez Arán’s oil is sold in Spain and is exported to Russia, Colombia, Belgium and Saudi Arabia.
He hopes to find similar markets for the bonbons, which debuted at the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fair of the Costa del Sol festival earlier this month.
Taking a different approach to olive oil is a bit of a habit for Sánchez Arán. His family also sells a skin cream made with olive oil and shea butter in a partnership with a company called Ananke Cosmetics.