Domori Blacksal Killed by The Machine

Domori Blacksal Ecuadorian Chocolate Bar and SaltI have it from a friend that the famed, fiery, and furious Blacksal Salted Chocolate Bar by Domori has been discontinued! Blacksal, long a favorite of mine, combined a Ecuadorian 75% dark chocolate with pink Andean salt also from Ecuador. The result is a big bang of tobacco and heavily roasted tropical nuts brooding over a delicate and airy saltiness. Domori is also discontinuing the Vanilla bar (Madagascar Bourbon vanilla with cacao from Madagascar.)

What diabolical corporate machinations could be responsible for such a tragedy?Maserati MC12 (Illy power plant not pictured)After much digging, I found the answer: managerial comparison engines.Yes indeed, managerial comparison engines are to blame.If you are not familiar with this form of apparatus, I should clarify that these engines of the are the intellectual sort: there are no now managerial comparison engine powered electric toothbrushes or managerial comparison mid-engine powered Maserati MC12s.

Illy cafe coffee and espresso companySo, to find the explanation for the mysteriously disappearing Domori Blacksal, we go to last years news that Domori was acquired by GRUPPO ILLY SPA, the monster espresso company.Illy took 80% of Domori’s shares for an undisclosed amount, with Domori retaining 20% ownership.Presumeably Domori retained substantial control over the direction and quality of its chocolate production.So why kill something so poetic as Ecuador cacao spangled with Andean salt?

Trolling the dark waters of internal corporate decision-making is hard business, but I think I found a clue in the Italian-language press release, and also netted some interesting information.Illy said the acquisition of Domori fits its long-term development strategy of playing the field of “colonial products” such as coffee, tea and, chocolate.This is purportedly a return to Illy’s roots, as the Illy family business dealt in a variety of products before abandoning them to focus on coffee.

We have to go through some fluff to get to the bottom of thins: “The great attention to raw materials, the processes and experience of craftsman,” blah blah blah.“Rediscovery of ancient quality cacao,” blah blah “makes a Domori extremely similar to the values of the Illy Group,” blah – says Stephen Cuccoli, Illy’s director of strategic marketing.What is strategic marketing?Does a director of tactical marketing report to the director of strategic marketing, or are these two types of marketing not on speaking terms, two warring factions within the high pressure stainless walls of the Illy corporate machine?

<p >But then we get a gem of blunt, highly Italian sounding truth from Gianluca Franzoni, President of Domori: “Domori gains access to the resources and know-how of Group Illy, whose robust managerial comparison engines will aid in refining products, processes, and strategies, particularly, for international growth.”Domori killed Blacksal willingly, at the behest of Illy’s managerial comparison engine

A formidable machine, or a broken calculator?

I have done some math that I hereby would like to share with Domori at no cost.Domori makes over 100 tons of chocolate a year.Presumably the Domori Blacksal was not pulling its weight.100 tons does sound like a lot—until you do the math.100 tons (metric) is 220,500 pounds. That means Domori’s weekly chocolate output is 4,240 pounds.

  • Daily output: 604 pounds
  • Hourly output: 25 pounds
  • Minutely output: 6.7 ounces.

Now, anyone who can’t eat 6.7 ounces of salted chocolate in a minute is hardly worth their… Anyway, we apparently lost the Blacksal because some of you were not eating your daily 604 pounds of chocolate, and Illy’s powerful analytics found you out.

6 Responses to “Domori Blacksal Killed by The Machine”

  1. on 24 Jan 2008 at 10:34 pmAdmitted Chocoholic

    That is incredibly disappointing! As a good chocoholic, I was quite a fan of Domori’s Blacksal – at least they’re not gone entirely!

    Must be tougher to compete now though, since everyone and their mother’s brother is now carrying quality dark chocolate. Did you hear that Target is now carrying Chocolove?!?! Only a few of their bars, but it will end up screwing the Chocolove brand in the long run (IMHO).

  2. on 13 Feb 2008 at 7:34 ammimi

    I am so sorry to hear this! Do you know if Vanilla is out as well?
    I stocked up on both when they were on sale at chocosphere and am now *sorely* regretting not buying more blacksal!!! It is truly exceptional.
    Other salted chocolate doesn’t seem to measure up. I dislike Vosges because it seems like the ‘flavors’ overwhelm the chocolate (and am also vegetarian so no bacon chocolate for me!). Does anyone know of other (not super expensive) salted dark chocolate of similar quality to Domori? Please let us know!

  3. on 13 Feb 2008 at 7:38 ammimi

    oops have poked around the links a bit more (found this page from a search for blacksal after the chocosphere had none) please ignore last half of previous comment. Maybe I’ll retry the vosges barcelona bar, it’s been a while…

  4. on 13 Feb 2008 at 11:03 amMark Bitterman

    First, no, unfortunately, the Domori Vanilla chocolate bar is discontinued as well, permanently. We still do have more Domori Blacksal available at, though our supply is running low. Another bar you may want to try is the Il Cioccolato de Bruco (, which offers an excellent example of salted chocolate in the Italian style: silky, delicate, with just a subtle touch of salt that enhances the chocolate in unanticipated, delicious ways. The cool thing about this salted chocolate that the package contains 2 small bars, one with a Trapani sea salt that is fiery and spicy. The other is a Cervia sea salt, that is fruity and bubbly. This is TOTALLY different from the the Domori Blacksal’s super bold, macho density, but is lovely nonetheless. Alternately, you could try our own salted chocolates, which give you a 75% Sao Tome chocolate with six different types of sea sal. (This you can order by calling our shop at 503-388-4633) I’ll keep you posted on new salted chocolates, especially any that resemble Domori’s noble Blacksal.

  5. on 15 Feb 2008 at 1:56 pmchokojapan

    Though every chocolate in the world gathers in Japan at this time of the Valentine’s day. I was strange that I did not watch some bar of Domori in Japan recently. And I was uneasy because the web site of Domori did not open out recently. However, I understood the reason in this news site. I am very disappointed. There are a lot of fans of Domori in Japan. I loved the Domori’s box of roasted cacao beans produced in defferent cacao field, this also will not be sold any more?

  6. on 29 Jan 2011 at 8:31 amHildred Pinder

    Ernest Hemingway~ Theres absolutely nothing noble in becoming superior for your fellow men. True nobility is being superior for your former self.

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