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Category Archives: Cocoa Chocolate making
The Cacao and Coffee series: In coffee we refer to many of the varieties coming from Ethiopia and East Africa, the birthplace of coffee, as “heirloom” and not as each specific variety. There are so many varieties, and local names differ to internationally accepted names in any case.
We can say the same about wild cacao from the Amazon region. There are so many cacao varieties that people decide to call them wild cacao instead of Amelonado, Catongo, Trinitario, etc. These wild cacao varieties usually come with an exotic taste due to its nature, similar to heirloom coffee varieties. You could call it birthplace diversity explosion!
source: PDG Cacao Instagram
Not so long ago, I had a nice contact with Chi from Atypic Artiste Chocolatier in Melbourne Australia and so it be started. After looking at there website and seeing there amazing Origin Chocolate bars I was convinced of there quality and vision on making the best chocolate for Melbourne and Australia. Reading the story of Charles Lemai and the next line: “…you become part of a community and our love of chocolate connects us all.” I was solded, I needed to have these bars and I was hungry to taste there unconventional and differently made bars of the Pacific Islands such as Vanuatu, Solomon Islands,…
At Atypic, they are truly passionate about there chocolate and only work with cacao growers who provide respect, care and love to their produce and the land it comes from. The beans are sourced from farmers practicing organic growing processes and support independent businesses who follow ethical, sustainable and fair-trading practices. Nature has done its part to create distinct flavour profiles for each cacao bean source and Atypic Artiste Chocolatier invest a lot of time bringing out these authentic cacao flavours.
They pay a premium fee for our beans which are sourced from there neighbours in the Pacific Islands, working directly with the farmers who grow, ferment, and dry the cacao we buy. They frequently visit there suppliers to learn about their process, visit the plantations and ensure the highest standards of quality and sustainability are met.
Find more about Atypic Artisan Chocolatier
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“Acidified red cocoa nibs are cocoa nibs which were not initially red but which have been subjected to an acid for a sufficient amount of time to become red”
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?
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.”