2014 Peruvian Gold Cacao
BRONZE winner of the Academy of Chocolate Awards 2018 (Category dark bean to bar under 80%)
SILVER Winner - International Chocolate Awards - Europe, Microbatch bean-to-bar 2017
GREAT TASTE 2 Stars ** 2020
JUDGES comments: Pleasing slow melt, starts with a fruitiness... A little savoury salty note is hiding in there but there is a malty, fruity taste in the foreground. A full flavoured chocolate reminiscent of Christmas flavours. Smooth. Good looking dark chocolate bar with a good break and immediate dark chocolate notes with a natural 'Christmas Cake' or even cherry fruitiness. The experience is full-on - there is a roundness left that is really satisfying.
The cacao comes from a small community called Cesar Vallejo de Palo Blanco, Chulucanas, Piura. Smallholders like Juan de la Cruz Rivera, have cultivated for the last 28 years one of the most exquisite native’s cacao from Peru. Gran Palo Blanco was awarded The Golden Peruvian Cocoa Award 2014. Gran Palo Blanco is special cacao and recognized for its delicate flavours, aromas and fragrancesThese cacao beans are bright brown, with sweet and fruity acidity that remains, with a touch of nuts such as dry plums, medium rounded body, with medium chocolate flavour, presence of malt notes and nutsIt is a cocoa of low astringency and bitterness, with a creamy texture.
Gran Palo Blanco is a very special cocoa, the post-harvest process begins in the farms with the harvesting of the cacao pods, the beans are place in jute sacks and drained for 24 hours, then transferred to the collection centre of the community, where a specialist receives the cacao, weighs it, and place the cacao into to the fermentation boxes, carefully following the protocol established according to the characteristics of the selected cocoa
The community Cesar Vallejo of Palo Blanco is located west of Piura, about one hour and a half in a 4 x 4 vehicle, in these area about 30 years ago, Don Juan de la Cruz Rivera Olemar planted its first cacao trees, "the parachutist who landed in his farm, "as described by Luis Paucar, in his article in the magazine Publico.
Don Juan de la Cruz, was one of the first cocoa farmers in Palo Blanco, where one of the best Peruvians cacao is now produced. He never imagined, that those first trees would make him worthy of the most prestigious award for smallholders cacao producers, the Gold Cacao Award 2014 given to the best cacaos of the Peruvian Nation.
The producer, proud of his past has a tattoo of a supersonic warplane on his left arm. It was done in 1976, shortly after serving in the command and special force in group 6 of the Air Force, in Chiclayo. Familiar and cheerful man, aged 67, has four daughters: Melba, Mery, Sara, Cindy, and a son, Joel
Don Juan standing under a flowering cacao tree, remembers his jumps as a parachutist and raises his sleeve, then you can see the tattoo of a Mirage made in France, the country that years later, many years later, when he became one of the first cocoa producer in Piura, would be its main market.
Today the community is organized under the name: Association of Producers Cesar Vallejo of Palo Blanco, they have a modern Collection Centre. Don Juan promoted the organization of the community, to grow more and better cocoa, under strict controls of quality and with fermentation protocols adapted to the cocoa of the zone
Most of the farms in the community have less than a hectare of extension, and irrigation is done by gravity with water that comes from the surrounding mountains, Palo Blanco is like an oasis, where under the shadows of trees of mangoes kent, Bananas and orange trees, they produce an exceptional cocoa
The association of small producers of Palo Blanco brings together 31 cacao farmers. With the support of Norandino they receive training in handling organic crops, pruning and post harvest methods. Cacaotales and Solkiki ensure direct trade of this cacao to further improve the quality of life of its producers and ensure its clients with optimal quality and traceability.
This 72% dark chocolate has a smooth melt, with strong chocolate flavours, there are malty notes like brown bread, also a fruity acidity in the background and roasted hazelnut tones.
72% Gran Palo Blanco, Peru - Dark
Organic Gran Nativo Blanco Cacao bean, organic cane sugar.