Category Archives: Travel

Its all about chocolate and cocoa with a conscience.

The color of cocoa pods are very interesting.


The color of cocoa pods are very interesting. The color can be an indication of variety, which can be an indication of flavor potential. You see in the background a red pod hanging on a tree. This is an indication of high flavor potential. You see in the foreground a pod of mixed color (red and yellow). This is an indication of a mixed flavor potential.

via Madécasse op Instagram:


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Cacau cabruca


South Bahia Cabruca Cacao


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.


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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‘Vroeger stond hier een heel regenwoud…’



via Nationale parken in ijltempo vernield om grote chocoladeprod… – De Standaard


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


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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Mmmm…a long way from a chocolate bar.


via Chocolate (kokoleka) Farm op Instagram: “Mmmm…a long way from a chocolate bar. This cacao pod had 40 cacao beans (almond-sized) encased in a sticky, white, yogurtlike sweet &…” • Instagram


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“In the 1970s, people were looking for solutions to a couple of fungal diseases:

 “In the 1970s, people were looking for solutions to a couple of fungal diseases: witches’ broom and something that is called frosty pod disease. When they hit a place in which they have not been present before, they can pretty much kill the industry, [with] maybe 80, 90 percent of death rate in the trees. … What Homero Castro did was start traveling around, trying to find the best genetics. And the best genetics in his terms were plants that were highly productive and were resistant to disease. Fifty times he did this [genetic] crossing, and he struck gold with the plant that he called CCN-51. CCN- 51 is highly productive. It produces as much as four times what regular Nacional will do. It is resistant to Monilia; it’s resistant to frosty pod disease; and it’s resistant to witches’ broom.”

Bron: The Slow Melt op Instagram: “”In the 1970s, people were looking for solutions to a couple of fungal diseases: witches’ broom and something that is called frosty pod…” • Instagram


 Ish & Matt Broadbent: Ocelot Chocolate

Ocelot Chocolate is run by newly married couple Ish and Matt Broadbent, who left their jobs as chefs to pursue their dream of running their own business and making the most delicious confectionery.

From their workshop in Edinburgh, Ish and Matt hand make chocolates using the highest quality organic and fair trade produce, combining their passion for art and graphic design to create a unique brand already loved by many.

Ish: We set up the business entirely on our own, with just modest savings, so we have grown one piece at a time- building up our equipment when we can- a very hand-to-mouth existence, but one that makes us value what we have and how far we’ve come. We’ve made sacrifices- we waved Goodbye to fancy phones, haircuts, clothes, meals out, and said Hello to being hermits for two years. We also started the business one week after getting married, so it hasn’t been the most romantic first couple of years and we still haven’t had our honeymoon, but ultimately we’ve made our dream a reality, and we feel very proud.


Bron: Ocelot Chocolate – Future Positive

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