A tale of 3 chocolates…so far
Cacao is a sensitive soul. It thrives best in the equatorial belt. Some beans are more delicate than others (hello criollo) and much like it’s latin nomenclature (theobroma cacao ie food of the gods) the tree has almighty requirements for succesful cultivation.
During my first annual chocolate festival Chocolicious (January – Easter 2018) I have endeavoured to travel via my chocolate bars.
“Travelling without moving”
Like wine, cacao has a ‘terroir’ the environmental growing conditions which lead to a distinct taste profile. My findings so far…
Madagascar – All chocolate that I’ve had from here tends to taste ‘fruity’.
Ghana – Typically the forastero bean is cultivated here (less of a diva than criollo) which accounts for the bulk of commercially used cacao. Its taste is characterized as bitter and acidic with a mild cacao flavour.
Mexico – My taste experience of minimally processed chocolate from its indigenous land is that of a rich, strong and in-your-face flavour. Those accustomed to sugary and creamy chocolate concoctions may find this chocolate quite abrasive.
Other countries are now home to burgeoning yet small-scale cacao industries (Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Fiji) thanks in part to those specializing in bean to bar businesses.
When unable to travel to cacao-producing countries, the next best thing, I think, is eating chocolate from around the world. Join me next year (or this year; a few days still remain!) to experience the world on a chocolate plate.