Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Potential New Cacao Varieties

Do you like chocolate? Delicious not so sweet dark chocolate?

Over the past few years we have seen increases in interest in wine varieties, followed by new and different olive oil flavours. Coffee is going the same way, with new blends, varieties and types offered in the market place, to titillate and entrance consumers and coffee lovers.

Watch this space..........chocolate may be next!

Recently reports of work by USDA staff in conjunction with several other agencies as well as commercial choclate company partners have been chasing new and different types of cacao.......the source tree for chocolate.

While West Africa is the source of much of the world supply of cacao, the centre of diversity is actually in south America, and up into lower central america, areas now being investigated for additional genetic diversity in cacao.

The researchers found hundreds of new cacao tree samples during the trips. One of these, discovered by collaborators from
Maranon Chocolate, was Pure Nacional, an old, very rare, and highly coveted variety that has garnered a great deal of interest from makers of fine-flavoured chocolates. Chocolate is produced from cacao.

This industry covets new and unique flavour sources.

Usually, cacao trees are found along rivers, but these gems were found at a higher altitude than normal, and in Peru instead of Ecuador or Venezuela.

The industry flourished in Africa as commercial plantation trees in the new World succumbed to some nasty plant diseases. These new collections may offer some advantages for Peru to create a niche industry for the new cacao varieties.

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