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Cacau cabruca

 

South Bahia Cabruca Cacao

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Cacao is the fruit of the cacao tree, a tree of medium dimensions – between 4 and 8 meters – with long leaves of approximately 30 cm. the fruit measures between 15 and 30 cm in length and has a width of 7 to 12 cm, ellipsoid shape and contains 30-40 kernels.
It is native to the rainforest areas of tropical America, and in its progression has given origin to two important groups: criollo and forastero. The latter became diffused in the Amazon Basin, and is considered the real Brazilian cacao, with its egg-shaped fruits with a smooth, slightly furrowed or wrinkly surface and purple seeds.
A mutation of forastero cocoa gave light to catongo cacao, with white seeds, discovered in Bahia. Cacao has best adapted to the south of this state, where 95% of all Brazilian cacao is produced.
In Bahia, the first historical record of cacao dates back to 1655, when D. Vasco de Mascarenhas sent a letter to Major-Captain Grão-Pará, talking about his fondness of the fruit. In 1746, cacao started being cultivated in southern Bahia, especially in the county of Canavieiras. In 1752, it reached Ilhéus, and ever since it has been the most characteristic local cultivation. Adapting very well to the Bahian Atlantic Forest, it had become the most important export of the state by the early 20th century. After the incidence of witch’s broom in the area, an illness affecting cacao trees caused by a basidiomycete fungus, which significantly decreased local production, fungus-resistant varieties were introduced to the area, among which Theobahia and the clones CEPEC 2002-2011 are especially worth mentioning, making up a large part of trees in many production areas.

credit-Reveca-Tapie

Photo: Reveca Tapie

In the Bahian cacao region, much local knowledge and experience has developed, giving birth to a unique agricultural model – the cabruca system. The traditional cacao planting method of southern Bahia follows the “cabrucated forest” system, characterized by the planting of cacao trees in the shade of Atlantic Forest trees, and has been used in the area for more than 200 years. This practice was devised by the first immigrants, and can thus be considered a precursor to current agroforestry systems.
Frequently, cabruca cacao is associated with organic cacao production.
However, not all cabruca cacao is organic, as the cabruca system only implies the type of plantation (in the shade of Atlantic Forest trees), but leaves it up to the farmer if he wants to use pesticides or other techniques for controlling pests. Despite this, many cacao growing communities and farms of southern Bahia produce organic, agroecologic cabruca cacao, in order to have good, clean and fair fruits.
All of this explains why the area is known as “Cacao Region”, being mentioned even by great writers such as Jorge Amado, retelling its story, which is tightly connected to the culture and history of the area. This is why a big part of the local tourism is oriented towards cacao and its most famous product, chocolate.

Source: via South Bahia Cabruca Cacao – Arca del Gusto – Slow Food Foundation

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…real challenges faced in the effort to make cocoa sustainable.

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via The Slow Melt op Instagram: “Sako Warren talks about seemingly simple but very real challenges faced in the effort to make cocoa sustainable. • • “Simran, I’m talking…” • Instagram

 

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The scent of freshly cut cacao is unique.

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The scent of freshly cut cacao is unique and I am missing it! At The C Note Ltd we love field trips and can’t wait to get to Trinidad to choose our next batches for our unique single state dark chocolate… The fermentation takes place in wooden boxes and drying in the typical cocoa houses under the sunshine… the roasting also takes place in Trinidad because we want the added value to stay in the producer’s country. Cacao is hard work!

via The C Note Ltd op Instagram: “The scent of freshly cut cacao is unique and I am missing it! At The C Note Ltd we love field trips and can’t wait to get to Trinidad to…” • Instagram

 

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Getting to know the chocolate supply chain.

“If we want delicious chocolate, we need to create better business models in which farmers can succeed producing high-quality cacao,” says Maya Granit, co-founder and managing director of Uncommon Cacao.

Bron: Opinion: Getting to know the chocolate supply chain | Devex

 

Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast.

Exclusive: As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks in Ivory Coast have entered big business supply chains

Bron: Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast | Environment | The Guardian

 

‘Once this was all trees, but they burned them to plant cocoa’: the ruin of West Africa’s rainforest.

A journey into the heart of the West African rainforest reveals it is being ripped up to feed the growing global demand for chocolate

Bron: ‘Once this was all trees, but they burned them to plant cocoa’: the ruin of West Africa’s rainforest | World news | The Guardian

 

Chocolate Shouldn’t Be Cheap – Eater

We’re used to paying about $1 for a bar of chocolate. But that price undercuts the farmer, the flavor, and the finesse that it takes to make good chocolate. To understand why many craft chocolate makers have adopted the direct-trade model — and higher prices — let’s look at how Big Chocolate works with farmers.

An excerpt from ‘Bean to Bar: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution’

Bron: Chocolate Shouldn’t Be Cheap – Eater

 
 
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