TIGRE Y OLIVA: Chocolates Crafted With Love
By Eunice Guzon & Hera Batara
“All you need is LOVE, But a little CHOCOLATE goes a long way” – Charles Schulz
There is no substance on this earth as celebrated as an expression of love as chocolate. Its decadence communicates desire and affection. Its chemical composition generates a feeling of happiness that mimics the high we get when we are in love. Chocolate is almost synonymous to love as is the story of Tigre y Oliva and its finely crafted artisanal chocolate bars.
Owner, Simone Mastrota, was born and raised in Italy. A few years ago, he moved to California, where he discovered and first fell in love with the art of making chocolates. Driven by his new-found passion, he traveled the world, together with his wife and two kids, testing different kinds of cacao origins, while also trying to find a place they can call home.
The Philippine cacao.
Mastrota travelled to the Philippines and immediately developed an interest in our local cacao. While most of our beans are usually rich in fruity notes, he found that there are origins that have big, earthy, spicy and nutty flavors. It did not take a lot of convincing before he found himself falling in love with our local cacao beans and believing that they deserve a spot among the best in the world.
Not long after that, Tigre Y Oliva, lovingly named after his two daughters (Tigerlily and Olive) was born. And soon enough, he and his family found a home in the quaint surf town of La Union.
Young chocolate connoisseurs Tigerlily & Olive
The brand was lovingly named after the two girls
Each Tigre Y Oliva chocolate bar is a product of love with Mastrota devoted to making sure that the essence and complexity of each cacao origin is not lost. He only uses minimum amount of sugar with no other ingredients. This is opposed to industrial chocolates which tend to use a mixture of beans from all over the world, leaving no or a little trace of the original flavor of the cacao. He is one of the few Philippine-based craft chocolate makers who have more than one single origin product, carefully sourcing his beans from several farms in Davao.
You know it’s R-E-A-L chocolate when it’s this smooth
Currently, he has created three kinds of chocolate bars affectionately named after each of the farms the beans were sourced: Sta. Maria from Davao Occidental, Sto. Tomas from Davao Del Norte and Subasta from Davao City.
Adding a traditional charm to each Tigre Y Oliva chocolate bar is the wrapping paper used, which is not without a tender touch, with Mastrota opting to source from Italy, his beloved homeland. Tigre y Oliva’s story is a testament to how, when it comes to love for country, we can actually love two at the same time!
Today, Mastrota is an advocate of putting the Philippine cacao beans in the global forefront of bean-to-bar artisanal chocolates and for Tigre Y Oliva, the happily ever after is just beginning as its flagship store and chocolate lab will be launched in La Union very soon. Post-summer La Union weekend trip, anyone? (Check out some of our recommended hostels here)
Literally, from bean to bar
This BIG LOVE for chocolate truly runs in the family
A preview of what’s inside that beautiful wrapping paper.
If these photos don’t make you drool, we don’t know what else will…
P.S. Check out their retail partners and links below!
But while all of us chocolate lovers are waiting for this chocolate fantasy destination to come to life, we can get ahold of Tigre Y Oliva bars online at Karton.Ph, in our favorite coffee shops around Metro Manila: Holy Carabao, Yardstick, YDG, Commune, Ritual, Tenant, Echo Store, Urban Pantry, Hillside Cafe, Satchmi, Coffee & Protein and in La Union Surftown at El Union coffee.