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.
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.
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.
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.