You can actually see the different clones, and the shape of the pods will tell you more or less where they were planted. Also, you can see the vegetation, the animals that are over there. It’s very magical. When you get more experience, by the shape of the fruit and the color, you will know that those beans are going to be more astringent, or more floral, or more fruity, or even nutty.” – Vicente Norero says of “reading the trees” on Episode 3. Please listen and share (link in bio).
Category Archives: Travel
“An exceedingly rare ‘Acriollado’ type of cacao found in one impoverished and isolated area of Ecuador…
An exceedingly rare ‘Acriollado’ type of cacao found in one impoverished and isolated area of Ecuador. This cacao has been cultivated for at least 150 years in isolation from Ecuadorian ‘Nacional’ cacao. This is one of the few examples of a truly heirloom cacao, a variety that has been passed down from generation to generation in isolation from introgression. Sadly this term, heirloom cacao, has been repeatedly misused due to ignorance and desire for marketability.
In recent decades this cacao has been cut down and replaced with oil palm and other more productive crops. Even worse, during the last 10 years, free or heavily subsidized CCN-51 trees have been provided for these communities and are quickly gaining traction. Through proximity and cross pollination, the genetic characteristics of the few remaining stands of these trees will be gradually eroded. These farmers never received any economic reward for growing their traditional cacao variety and because it is slower growing and more susceptible to disease, you can hardly blame them for replacing it. Fortunately, we rescued several dozen fruits and have just started seeding these trees for establishment on the Costa Esmeraldas farm. Also, Hawaii Cacao Foundation used its USDA import permit to bring clean, healthy seeds to Hawaii for preservation and propagation in the disease free climate of the islands. Once multiplied, seeds and scion will made available to the public, no hoarding, trademarking, or other unscrupulous practices. Not just talk, marketing buzzwords, or hype – evidence based decisions and action.
A rainy, dull sunday morning. The kind of day you wish you could be wandering on a sunny beach somewhere on a tropical island. Anyway, that is not going to happen today, so why not review a bar of chocolate. I know I still have some in the cupboard! To be honest, I already had the chance to taste this particular bar of brown gold. During the Origin Chocolate Event in Amsterdam, it was paired with rum. I was impressed back than, but after a full day of chocolate tasting my taste buds became a bit overloaded, so I needed to taste it again. On its own this time. Without distractions. Chocolate made in Vietnam might sound weird. Chocolate, in Vietnam? Most people won’t even know cacao is growing there. Don’t be ashamed, I didn’t know either until some months ago! The Bên Tre bar is a 78% chocolate, so a fairly high percentage. It is made from cacao beans grown near the Mekong Delta. Marou keeps close contact with the farmers who produce the beans. Their farmers ferment the cacao on the