WHAT IS FINE CACAO
Let’s start by saying that not all chocolates are made equal.
Chocolate is made from Cacao beans that come from the Cacao tree and there are different cacao types and ways to grow and harvest crops. All these differences determine quality flavor and business profitability, factors that unfortunately ponder in two opposite directions.
Fine cacao reveals an aromatic, floral and smoother flavor. This is possible due to complex biochemical reactions between hundreds of various elements handled at the time of farming, post-harvesting and manufacturing.
On the other hand, Bulk cacao is easier to grow but it does not reveal the same pleasant flavor characteristics and instead, it is more bitter and acidic. Therefore, bulk cacao requires more sugars, fats or flavorings when used to produce chocolate bars.
Bulk cacao (higher yields, less quality flavor) is more demanded by big companies to produce massive amounts of Commercial Chocolate. Sadly enough, Fine cacao (most flavorful) is less demanded and endemic species are via extinction.
There are more than 10 major cacao types but to simplify concepts let’s focus on the 3 major and traditional categories: Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario.
- Criollo is the most desirable and is consider of a superior type when it comes to flavor because it has low acid levels and complex flavor profiles. However, it is the most difficult cacao tree to grow so yield is smaller.
- Forastero (bulk) is considered inferior to criollo in terms of flavor because of its harsh bitterness and acidity. In terms of business outcomes its superior because is a hardy plant with a much higher yield.
- Trinitario (created after a disease devastated the criollo plantations in Trinidad leading to a cross between forastero and few remaining criollo trees) combines flavors of the Criollo and hardiness of the Forastero.
Given that chocolate consumption has grown in the last decades, cacao is an important commodity in the world, and it has driven an uneven Cacao production
- Trinitario is around 5% of the world’s cocoa production.
- Criollo is around 1% of the world’s cocoa production.
- Forastero is around 92% of the world’s cocoa production today.
In Allegretto we use Fine Cacao beans because is more flavorful and we support fine cacao farming.