Belgium-based spouses Marielle Flores-Moens and Matthias Moens developed a new recipe for chocolate that is as much as Belgian as it is Filipino. It all started with Marielle’s idea to use the expertise of Belgium in creating chocolates on the tablea from the Philippines. After pursuing the idea with their business partners, Theo and Brom Belgian Tableya came to life in December 2018.
The company’s name, Theo and Brom, came from the scientific name of chocolate theobroma cacao. As a start-up, Theo and Brom intends to bring both chocolate lovers and casual consumers a special tasting experience.
Tablea from the Philippines is cacao beans fermented, roasted, grounded, and molded into different shapes. It is naturally rich with a rough texture that can be a bit overwhelming. This is why, Marielle wanted to create a chocolate with a smoother, softer taste. With the expertise of Mario Vandeneede, an award-winning chocolate artisan from Belgium, Theo and Brom’s tableya came to have a mouth-feel taste. The founders call it “delicately unrefined.”
Exploring the flavor
Indulging in these rounds is much like wine-tasting. At first bite, it carries the taste of raisins or molasses but as it melts on the tongue, the subtle bittersweet taste of the tablea becomes apparent. While it may be solid with a slight crunch, the smooth texture allows for the rich flavors to implode in the mouth.
The tableas are perfect for both eating or drinking. A good pairing the Moens couple recommends are ensaymada or an ube cake with a leche flan top. If it is too sweet, pair it with whiskey or craft beer. As a drink, melt it alone or swirl it in milk for a creamier taste. The use of muscovado sugar sourced from the Philippines makes preparations simpler and the chocolate unique among others.
Though Belgium leads the chocolate-making industry, they don’t carry round molds. This is why the tablea rounds developed from the molds of Mexico. The tableas have seven divisions like that of a pizza’s to make cutting into pieces easier. These chocolates are perfect for sharing or for enjoying all by yourself.
Theo and Brom Belgian Tableya rounds are available to purchase through their website. One box of four rounds costs Php 2,000 or €35 with additional shipping fees. The company is starting to do wholesale trials as well which makes for a premium segment.