It’s been a few years since I have had this particular variety in. When Venezuelan cocoa became very popular a few years, there suddenly seemed to be more cocoa from this region being sold than being produced, and some (aside from being down right back) bore a striking resemblance to mediocre Colombian cocoa – I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…
Suffice it to say, I am thrilled to have, not one, not two, not even three varieties of Venezuelan cocoa in, but FOUR new varieties. Ocumare, Carenero Superior, Rio Caribe F1 (think BIG plumy red Zinfandel) and Rio Caribe F2 (an ‘underfermented’ ‘raw’ bean that is surprisingly good). They are all coming in today, but I only have the pages complete for the first two – patience please – there is plenty to go around, and I want to do something a little special with the remaining two.
In the mean time, you may see me begin to refer to a term “break”. This is nothing more than the color of the unroasted bean when you crack or ‘break’ it open. The lighter that break, the GENERAL trend there is to more Criollo. Forastero is rather dark, often purple or deep brown. A good solid, middle of the road Trinatario (think Dominican Republic or Panama) are a mid to dark brown. A cocoa bean with heavier Criollo in its breeding will be a lighter brown, and real Criollo (especially Porcelano) can be down right pale brown with the finished chocolate looking almost like milk chocolate. Photos will soon follow….