Established in early 2015, Dame Cacao is a resource and community of passionate chocolate lovers and travelers, looking for the best places to combine their passions. My name is Max, and I’m dedicated to crafting a sustainable and delicious world by changing the way we eat & understand chocolate. As Dame Cacao, I dive into the global identity of chocolate; how it’s made, where to find it, and why it’s just so darn good. This site is part of my efforts to connect you to quality chocolate and the people who produce it, as well as to the world around us. If you love chocolate and travel, then welcome. You’ll feel right at home here.
The Origin Story
I am fascinated by chocolate. It’s my daily ritual, my comfort food, and probably yours, too. Dame cacao (“give me cacao” in Spanish) is the original meaning of the site’s name. It was formulated to represent my desire to teach people about cacao— the raw material of chocolate— at the same time as I talk about the mechanics & tasting of chocolate. Learning about cacao and its impact is what got me started with my whole chocolate lifestyle.
At the moment, I’m an English teacher in rural South Korea. Sometimes I write about life here, and interesting trips I take around the world. But it wasn’t life in Kore that inspired my love of chocolate, but a chocolate tasting I attended when I was sixteen. There I learned that you can be a part of changing the system, without completely changing your life.
It was only years later that Dame Cacao actually started, in early 2015, at the persistent urging of a chocolate-obsessed friend. It was to be a platform for my thoughts while working in Latin America & to review all the craft chocolate bars I could get my eager hands on. The site came to fruition only after years of tasting a few bars a week using whatever cash I could spare from my student budget. I think those first bars are still some of the best chocolates I’ve ever had. But this solo exploration also brought about this bad case of wanderlust that takes over so many millenials’ lives. Yet chocolate even brought me to South Korea, in a roundabout way.
Eat Better Chocolate; Change the World
Over the years, I have interned in a fancy chocolate shop, worked on a coffee & cacao plantation, and guided tours in a chocolate museum. I became a certified chocolate maker through Ecole Chocolat, and a member of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. I have been tasting craft chocolate for nearly six years now, building both a knowledge base and a solid group of human resources. During my searches for the best chocolates, I also fulfill my thirst for travel.
My goal is to see to it that anyone can find a bite of chocolate on any trip, even if that’s just a trip down the road. But first you need to know where to look and why. Beyond the bar reviews and chocolate making experiments, on Dame Cacao you’ll find insight into the industry, chocolate guides to cities & countries, and highlights of unique chocolate experiences. Chocolate around the world, at your leisure.
Whether you’re a chocolate lover, traveler, or world changer, there’s something in this community for you. Feel free to join me on any part of my journey, as I travel slowly & experience life. Connect with me on social media. Ask for a bar recommendation, why don’t you.
And remember, wherever you go, chocolate is never too far away.
If you would like to contact me regarding professional matters, please email me at max[@]damecacao.com. Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by me, and cannot be reproduced without permission. Thanks!