Cacao Varieties

CRIOLLO
Criollo (or in English “Creole” or “indigenous”) is the oldest variety of cocoa. It is cultivated in Central America and South America, but there are also plantation in the Archipelago of Samoa (Polynesia), Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Java. It is of an excellent quality and known for being very aromatic and having a delicate and not very bitter flavour. The seeds have a light-coloured shell. It is used for high quality chocolate, but rarely in a pure form in that world production is extremely limited. Venezuelan Cacao is the highest rated quality cacao on the market.

FORASTERO
Originally from the Amazon, forastero chocolate also comes from Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The beans are dark in colour and the resulting cocoa has a strong flavour, very persistent and a bit acid. This variety accounts for about 85% of the world’s production.

TRINITARIO
This is a hybrid of the crillo and forastero varieties. The first plantations developed in the Trinidad islands, from which this variety took its name. The performance and the resistance to infection is very similar to that of the forastero, yet the quality is considerably higher. Today it is cultivated in Africa and in Central America, representing 10-15% of the world’s production.

CRU
This name indicated the finest cocoa, the best that any connoisseur can desire. As for the best known wines, many cru chocolates are vintage and the bars are numbered. Among the varieties of cru, we would like to mention: Madagascar, which has a distinctive almond aroma; the bitter and robust Ghana, and Trinidad, which is full-bodied and smells of chestnuts. There are also: Equador, Jamaica, Esmeraldas, Rio Caribe Superior, and Sumatra varieties.

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9 thoughts on “Cacao Varieties

  1. I am confused because you talk of the fermentation process raising the temperature by 50 degrees, how can it then be raw? Is there anyway that fermentation can be maintained under 118 degrees or is there no strictly raw chocolate, just unroasted?

    1. hello tanya,
      we were posting the information regarding the fermentation so that more raw-food-interested people understand that there are processes like fermentation, or also composting that deliver the temperature which is necessary to complete the natural cycle without adding or changing something from outside. of course, you are right, there is the processing of the cacao when it is ground up in powder or pressed for cacao butter which needs to be done carefully so it does NOT heat up and then it is called RAW. and of course, unroasted as you correctly state. …. sorry, for the late reply.

    2. hello tanya,
      we were posting the information regarding the fermentation so that more raw-food-interested people understand that there are processes like fermentation, or also composting that deliver the temperature which is necessary to complete the natural cycle without adding or changing something from outside. of course, you are right, there is the processing of the cacao when it is ground up in powder or pressed for cacao butter which needs to be done carefully so it does NOT heat up and then it is called RAW. and of course, unroasted as you correctly state. …. sorry, for the late reply.

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