Going to a cocoa orchard is a bit like visiting the Garden of Eden. The fruit, vaguely in the shape of a rugby ball called Cabosse, is yellow, red or purple, according to the various qualities, and it grows, in a very original way, along the stem of the plant.
There are dozens of different hybrids and qualities of cocoa, derived from the three main strains: the Criollo, Forastiero and Trinitario, some of them have a strong taste like the Trinitario, others are more aromatic and delicate, with multiple flavors like the Trinitario or the extremely rare Criollo, that all differ from one another.
The best cocoas in the world are found mainly in Central and South America, Ecuador,Venezuela, Mexico, Perù, Colombia; there are also some excellent cocoas in Indonesia, even if most of the production comes from Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The plant normally grows in the shade of plane trees, pepper and vanilla trees, however the newest orchards have a much higher density.
Just like all of the good things, cocoa plants are delicate and require a lot of loving care, if they are not "cuddled", not well-watered, not well fertilized or cleaned, they get sick easily, producing very few flowers, very few fruits and they often die.
Starting from the farmers up to the agronomists, everyone in the world is committed to the conservation of the species, more resistant plants are constantly studied, crops are now heavily improved, since the production is now in serious danger.
If freshly harvested, with a lot of experience, from a simple cabosse you can understand many things, such as what the final result will be like. You smell the fruit, you discover unknown smells, you test the new clones, you can even determine what quality and what combinations are best suited to the final result that is desired.
Knowing the cocoa plant, having spoken with farmers and technicians of the most beautiful plantations in Mexico and Ecuador, allows us to really appreciate the real flavor of cocoa, knowing the nature from where it comes from allows us to finally get some amazing and top notch raw materials.