In the menuof the famous SerendipityXNUMX restaurant, located between Second and Third Avenues in New York, it offers one of the most expensive desserts in the world, as recorded by the book Guinness World Recordsin XNUMX, the ice cream "golden opulence", or in English, the Golden Opulence Sundae. Its price? XNUMX US dollars; and its exotic and expensive ingredients include black chocolates Porcelain y Chuao, from the Italian brand Amedei, each made with two of the best varieties of Venezuelan Venezuelan cocoa.
"White, delicate and precious", this is how the Italian manufacturer Amadei describes in its web portal the Creole cacao Porcelana, a "genetically pure" Venezuelan variety, from which it is possible to obtain "only 3.000 kilos a year", and it is with which prepares its award-winning “Porcelana” dark chocolate bar, chosen by the New York restaurant to melt with the three scoops of Tahitian vanilla ice cream in the expensive dessert.
While the Amedei Chuao dark chocolate bar, prepared with another of the best varieties of Creole cocoa in the country, Chuao, is placed in pieces on this exuberant dessert. In a brief description, the maker of this tablet refers to its name as the earthly paradise where the food of the gods grows. "It was difficult for Amedei to acquire and process these seeds and domesticate a strong cocoa, so much so that after twenty days of" aging "this chocolate, unlike all the others, improves in roundness, aroma and acidity", he assures. Both 50-gram dark chocolate bars are offered for sale by this brand at 9,90 euros.
The cacao plant and its varieties in Venezuela
Cocoa or Theobroma cacao It is a plant native to the northern region of South America. In Venezuela it is grown mainly in warm, humid soils, with an average temperature of 30 ° C, without the use of pesticides. According to the research article "Cocoa, culture and heritage: a habitat of fine aroma in Venezuela", in our country three varieties of cacao trees grow; the Creole, which is the Venezuelan autochthonous; the Trinitarian, which is the result of the crossing of the Creole with the Amazonian; and the stranger, from the Amazon basin.
Creole cocoa is highly appreciated by chocolatiers around the world due to its unique flavor and aroma characteristics, a result not only of its genetics, but also of the ecological conditions where the trees grow, and the ancestral and inherited post-harvest handling, which result finally in obtaining the extra-fine cocoa beans and fine aromas. Internationally, its production represents less than 10%.
Venezuelan producers classify this variety of cocoa according to the regions where it grows, because this fruit acquires aromas and flavors according to the locality, the article refers. In the west of the country, the Guasare and Porcelana Creole cocoa stand out, whose taste and smell have hints of molasses and honey; in the center, the Creole cacaos Patanemo, Canoabo, Chuao and Carenero have the taste and smell of nuts; the Creole cacao Caruao, from the state of La Guaira, has the smell and taste of mango and bananas; and those of the Caribe River, Agua Fría and Agua Santa, N-65, Villarroel, which is located in the east of Sucre state, have a variety of fruity and floral flavors and smells.
The propagation of Creole cacao, being a highly valued crop at the beginning of colonial Venezuela, was expanding from the west of the country, specifically from the south of the Lake, axis of the states of Zulia, Trujillo and Mérida, towards the north central mountain range. from Venezuela, forming on this road important populations with a cocoa tradition, where they are, among the most renowned, Canoabo, Borburata, San Esteban and Patanemo, in the state of Carabobo; Cepe, Chuao, Choroni, Cuyagua, Cata, Cumboto and Ocumare, on the coast of Aragua state; continuing with the state of Miranda and continuing this line towards the Venezuelan east, points out the research article "Cocoa, culture and heritage: a habitat of fine aroma in Venezuela".
The town of Chuao is famous since the colony for its cocoa, one of the finest in the world and most appreciated by the great chocolatiers Internationals, who use it to prepare the most exquisite desserts, says the article. Maurice Bernachon, famous French chocolatier, paraphrased about Chuao cocoa: “the emotion you feel when tasting a Chuao cocoa chocolate is as great as the one you feel when you drink a glass of wine from Château Petrus or rather a Château Yquen”, The best wine in the world.
The cultivation of Chuao has been constant in the history of Venezuela. According to a journalistic work on the Visual Capitalist website, "Where are the oldest companies in existence?", in Spanish: Where are the oldest companies that exist? He points to the Hacienda de cacao de Chuao, founded in 1660, as the oldest in Venezuela that is still operating.
Trinitario or deltano cocoa
Most of the plantations settled in the states of Aragua, Miranda and Sucre have this variety of cacao, with the Trinitario or deltano occupying 90% of the production of this fruit in the country. Francisco Betancourt, Agronomist Engineer at Chocolates El Rey, assures that Barlovento has had a natural and successive hybridization of Trinidadian cocoa; originating a high quality cocoa, with a very accentuated aroma and flavor.
Some of the Trinidadian cocoa producers that stand out in Venezuela are those settled in Choroní and Ocumare, in the state of Aragua; Miranda and Carenero Superior; Río Caribe, Carúpano, El Pilar and Yaguaraparo, in Sucre state.
Amazonian foreign cocoa
This variety occupies a large percentage of cocoa cultivation in West Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia, representing almost 80% of the production worldwide. Despite being called that way, this is a cocoa with high resistance to diseases and viruses, so it is highly sought after to genetically improve other types of cocoa.
Venezuelan, one of the best chocolates in the world
Factory Richart chocolates, which has been making fine chocolates in Lyon (France) since 1925, has a ultra-thin luxury collection of chocolates with aromatic fruity, spicy or floral notes where Venezuelan Creole cocoa stands out.
“Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Sao Tomé… Take a trip around the world and discover the main key cocoa production regions and the aromatic richness of each cocoa bean, thanks to carefully designed cocoa contents of between 63% and 100% % individual. Cocoa of origin, or 2 squares of milk chocolate with a high content of cocoa and milk ”. This is how this chocolate brand describes this collection of chocolate squares.
The famous chocolate bonbons with edible gold of the Swiss brand Delafeé They are also made with Venezuelan Creole cocoa, as well as the now non-existent recognized American chocolate company NōKA. In 2006 Forbes.com included the collection NōKA Vintages Among a list of the most expensive chocolates in the world, at $ 854 a pound.
The Canadian Chocolate Company Prime Chocolaterie, whose owner was interviewed by the Venezuelan journalist María Alejandra Lacruz, works only with Venezuelan cocoa for its high quality. "We use Venezuelan cocoa to make our products because it is the best in the world and I'm not saying it, the statistics say it," said Edmond Madfouny.
“The quality control is very strict. We got to know it (Venezuelan cocoa) through our society in Switzerland. They do the research together with us to find out which is the most refined cocoa, we buy it from the cocoa plantations in Maracaibo, in Venezuela, then we import it to Switzerland and there we transform the seed to the cocoa block. We bring it to Montréal, Canada, to transform it with particular recipes to arrive at an edible product of excellence, unique in the market ”.
65% of the cocoa produced in Maracaibo is classified as Felchlin, a category recognized by the famous academy "Maestri Pasticceri Italiani" as the best in the world.
In 2020, Venezuelan cocoa was awarded in the contest Great Taste Awards 2020. The variety "Sur del Lago 70" obtained two stars and was rated "Wonderful". While “Río Caribe”, “Canuao” and “Carenero 70” obtained the award of “Simply delicious”. Great taste It is the most coveted of all the food and beverage awards.
But despite all this success that our cocoa continues to register since the beginning of colonial Venezuela, there are a series of problems that confronts the production of this fruit in our country identified by the Bit and Nibs Foundation, in a work entitled "Cocoa in Venezuela", ranging from the advanced age of the plantations, the low yield of the trees, the incidence of pests and diseases, to the high value of the land, high cost of production, low adoption of technology, advanced age of the producers and the small size of production units.