Demand for fine or flavor cacao with its exquisite color, taste, and quality is increasing. And instead of exporting these cacao beans (cocoa beans) mostly cultivated in the Caribbean, they are being used by old and new chocolate making companies popping up in the region. Some of these chocolate companies are associated with cacao plantations that have hundreds of years of history and heritage, others have just been created by people who love chocolate. But before we can highlight some of the leading Caribbean chocolate brands, it’s important to review the different kinds of cacao trees that produce cacao beans which are the ultimate source for chocolate. Also, the ways to check for quality and taste when sampling this new wave of artisan chocolate.
Different Kinds of Cacao Trees
Like coffee, the production of chocolate starts with a tree that grows anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five feet. Specifically, cacao trees (cocoa trees) which produce a fruit – cacao pods shaped like an American football which contain cacao beans. There are three different types of cacao trees including Criollo, Trinitario, and Forastero. From a review of the history of chocolate, we uncover that Criollo is the original cacao tree and is native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean islands. The second type of cacao tree is the Forastero native to the Amazon basin. Now grown mainly in Africa, Ecuador, and Brazil, Forastero cacao trees account for 80% of the world’s cocoa supply. Finally, Trinitario cacao trees are a natural hybrid biological class resulting from cross-pollination. These were created in Trinidad after a hurricane in 1727 destroyed most of the Criollo cacao trees. The Trinidad cacao plantations were then replanted with Forastero which created the hybrid of Criollo and Forastero.
Source and More Info: https://www.caribbeanandco.com/caribbean-chocolate-brands/