Category Archives: Cocoa Chocolate making

Its all about chocolate and cocoa with a conscience.


Chocolate as salad.


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The Chocolate Fruit: Looking Inside a Cacao Pod

The anatomy of a cacao pod. Credit: United States Department of Agriculture, Public Domain, with labels added by Julio Guevara
Cacao pod cut in half, leaving the pulp-covered seeds visible. Credit: Eduardo Salazar

Can We Use The Whole Cacao Pod?
So, if the cacao seeds are the only part of the fruit that ends up in our chocolate, does that mean the rest goes to waste?

Not necessarily.

We’ve already mentioned that pulp can be consumed on its own. Additionally, Eduardo tells me, “In Latin American countries, the cacao [by-products] may be used to feed livestock.”

Alfredo adds that “cacao pods uses are varied. In a cacao event in Thailand, they served a dinner with more than 70 different [cacao] servings that varied from soups, rice, meats, desserts, drinks and others.”

And Pedro explains that, even when the by-products aren’t consumed, they can still be reused. “The shell of the pod, once it’s been harvested normally, is left in the plantation because the Forcipomyia fly (principle insect that helps in the pollination of the cocoa flower) will lay its eggs in there. Then [the shell] is reincorporated in the soil once it’s degraded,” he says. “Other farmers make compost with the shells because they are rich in potassium and help to improve organic matter in the soil.”


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Coup de Chocolat: tussen smaak en engagement

Eerlijke smaak

De smaak van duurzame landbouw

‘Voor ambachtelijke chocolademakers als ons is het een kwestie van echt goeie cacao te vinden. De lekkerste en meest kwaliteitsvolle is altijd cacao die op een duurzame manier verbouwd wordt’, legt Isabelle uit. ‘Dan gaat het vooral over kleinschalige boslandbouw, met gezonde plantages. We hebben geen bio-label, maar we willen volledig natuurlijk te werk gaan. Onze cacao wordt dan ook systematisch getest.’

‘Ook heel belangrijk is dat we enkel met oude, authentieke variëteiten werken. Stap 1: Fermentatie
‘Dat kan in bakken van een ton, maar wij gaan voor kleine bedjes, waardoor ’t gemakkelijker is om die gisting, die op een natuurlijke manier wordt opgestart, op een gelijkmatige temperatuur te houden.Er wordt heel wat gepusht in de cacaowereld om te werken met CCN-51, een gekloonde cacaovrucht die aanvankelijk heel wat opbrengt, maar op langere termijn niet gezond is voor de bodem.’

‘In onze chocolade proef je gewoon echt die boslandbouw, je proeft wat daarrond groeit. Daar zit bij ons het verschil denk ik’, beaamt Tom. ‘En last but not least, het fermentatie-, droog- en roosterproces natuurlijk. Dat is van kapitaal belang voor de smaak.

‘Hier in België, nochtans een chocoladeland, worden wij eigenlijk volledig ingehaald door andere landen qua goede chocolade. Als je kijkt naar Colombia zelf, of in Nederland, Frankrijk, daar zijn ze veel meer bezig met die bonenselectie, fermentatie, roosteren, terwijl wij vooral trots zijn op onze multinationals. Die zijn misschien wel pioniers, maar vooral logge schepen die moeilijk te sturen zijn richting duurzame chocoladeproductie en eerlijke handel.’

om het artikel helemaal te lezen dan deze link:


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SAN JOSE DE BARLOVENTO, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela cocoa trader Freddy Galindo has battled highway robberies, kidnappings of family members and declining quality in his 19 years exporting the nation’s legendary beans.


via Venezuela cocoa growers fear new pest: the government | Reuters

Venezuela cocoa growers fear new pest: the government | Reuters


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via Colombia Becomes First Country in Latin America to Commit to Deforestation-Free Chocolate | World Cocoa Foundation

Colombia Becomes First Country in Latin America to Commit to Deforestation-Free Chocolate.


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This morning I read an interesting report called “How The Cocoa Industry Destroys National Parks” by Etelle Higonnet, Marisa Bellantonio and Glenn Hurowitz. This 20-pages publication was randomly handed to me during the FCIA event in New York and it opened my eyes on the environmental issues surrounding the cocoa industry in Ivory Coast 🌱🔥
The report focuses on Ivory Coast’s national parks and protected areas that have been cleared of forest and replaced with cocoa growing operations. Natural paradises that should remain untouched and prosperous are deforested to grow cocoa in full sun to boost short-run productivity.
“Illegal deforestation for cocoa is an open secret throughout the entire chocolate supply chain” states the report.
Much of Ivory Coast was actually covered by forests when it achieved independence in 1960, and boasted one of the highest rates of biodiversity in Africa, with thousands of endemic species 🌴🐒
However, the chocolate industry’s practices have eliminated much of this forest and had caused Ivorian wildlife populations to plummet. Addressed as main culprits (among predatory middlemen and corrupted cooperatives) are large agribusinesss companies like Olam, Cargill and Barry Callebaut, responsible for creating a market for illegally grown cocoa 👤💱
Although aware of the hundreds of acres destroyed to supply the demand from big manufacturers in the US and EU, these companies have launched small-scale sustainability initiatives that have done little to nothing to resolve the issue.
“The tragedy of this deforestation is that it is entirely avoidable. Instead of driving investment in expansion into forests or national parks, cocoa companies should be focusing their resources on shade-grown systems, water distribution and grafting techniques that can actually promote higher average productivity over the full life cycle of a cocoa tree.” concludes the report.
Once again, this is the neverending battle between quality/patience/ethics VS quantity/speed/greediness.
As a consumer, ask yourself: which side are you supporting with your money? 👈👉
#chocolate #environment #nature #africa #dirtymoney

via Sharon Terenzi op Instagram: “The dark side of chocolate. This morning I read an interesting report called “How The Cocoa Industry Destroys National Parks” by Etelle…”

“The dark side of chocolate. This morning I read an interesting report called “How The Cocoa Industry Destroys National Parks”.


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via What Are the Differences Between Craft and Industrial Chocolate? — Take Two –

What Are the Differences Between Craft and Industrial Chocolate?


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