On a small Atlantic island on the equator, in a lemon-colored bungalow with a clear view over a tinfoil bay, lives the Italian honorary consul. In his driveway are two ancient Fiat Pandas. In his back garden is a chocolate factory. The consul’s name is Claudio Corallo. He is 58 and lean, with close-cropped, neat gray hair, a matching mustache, and an inventor’s lively eyes. He speaks five languages fluently, and English sparingly and excitedly.
For the past decade, Corallo has been on a quest to produce some of the finest dark chocolate in the world. His bars, which range in cocoa content from 70 percent to 100 percent, and may contain ginger, arabica coffee beans, orange rind, or plump raisins soaked for months in his homemade cocoa-pulp alcohol, sell for between $12 and $14 for 100 grams in Europe, the United States, and Japan.