Theobroma is ancient Greek for the “food of the gods!”
Cacao is the Mayan root word retained by the Spanish.
There are 3 main varietals of Cacao.
Criollo –the rare, Forastero – the versatile and Trinitario – a hybrid of both.
In our farms and in our nursery we have and will be using Trinitario as it provides the best of both worlds.
Criollo – the rare
Criollo is native to Central and South America and makes up about 5% of the worlds production of cacao.
This varietals is known as the “prince of cacao” and has a very delicate, classic chocolate flavor. It is used in the very best “fine flavor cacao”.
However it is also extremely vulnerable to a variety of climate and disease threats so it is difficult to grow. This is a reason for the low production worldwide.
Forastero – the versatile
Forastero is a much hardier tree and much less susceptible to weather threats and disease.
It also has a much higher yield than Criollo.
For these reasons it is the no 1, most commonly grown varietal in the world and accounts for more than 80% of global cacao production. It has much more bitter taste then Criollo and so is usually mixed with higher quality cacao and other ingredients to make lower quality chocolate products.
Trinitario - a hybrid
It is important to note that Trinitario is a hybrid specifically created by a meticulous and careful hand graphing process. As a result we get a varietal that provides the best of both worlds. A strong, durable tree with high production that also produces high quality beans with all the qualities needed to produce fine flavor cacao.
It is now the predominant fine flavor cocoa and will be the main varietal used in our farms.