This fruit, which was planted by Venezuelan indigenous people in Ancón de Maruma, was expanded to the Venezuelan coast by the Spanish between the 100th and XNUMXth centuries. The kilo of chocolate made with this cocoa can exceed XNUMX euros.
Creole cocoa, considered by experts to be the best in the world, and whose global harvest represents less than 5%, was cultivated by indigenous Venezuelans south of Lake Maracaibo, long before the arrival of the Spanish on Venezuelan soil.
The cocoa plantations were found in the jungles that look towards Lake Maracaibo, in the "Ancón de Maruma", a border point with the old provinces of Mérida and Trujillo, and some 100.000 trees were counted at the beginning of the XNUMXth century.
The cuicas of Trujillo, adjacent to the timotes of Mérida, prepared and consumed a drink called "chorote", produced by roasting the seeds, grinding them between two stones and preparing them as an infusion in cold or hot water, a procedure that gave rise to a pasta.
The aborigines practiced an agriculture based on the collection of fruits, especially the populations close to the rivers and streams, which, in the case of cocoa, moved it, in small boats, from the wooded riverbanks to the places where they proceeded to extract the seeds, to dry them and sell them as they are or as cocoa paste.
The trees of this type of cocoa produce relatively soft seeds, with some of the best and most delicate flavors, with hints of flowers and tea.
Sur del Lago produces the Porcelana Creole cocoa variety, considered the best in the world for its organoleptic characteristics. Experts describe its flavor to panela and malt. As for its physical characteristics, it has a very thin and smooth bark, and its seeds are large and matte white like porcelain. Hence its name.
The Spaniards expand the Creole cocoa towards the coasts of Venezuela
After colonizing the territories that today belong to our country, and subjecting the indigenous populations, the Spanish made cocoa their first agricultural product to to export and, for this, they had to start a process of expansion and exploitation of the cultivation of this fruit along the entire coast of the country.
The main cocoa production sites are those that reproduce, on a certain scale, the climatic conditions of soil, humidity and lighting of the tropical forest.
From the middle of the XNUMXth century, cocoa plantations began to flourish in Venezuela from west to east in the coastal areas of the country, extending from Maracaibo to the Paria peninsula.
Probably at the hands of the Capuchin Friars, at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, the cultivation of Creole cocoa began in the valleys of northern Aragua, where the wow, the only cocoa with Denomination of Origin that exists in the country and, like Porcelain, one of the best in the world.
In the valleys of the Aragüeño coast, cocoa is restricted to gallery forests, with an altitude less than 200 meters above sea level, with rainfall less than 1.100 mm, for which complementary irrigation is necessary, used since colonial times, during several months a year. The soils are shallow and have sandy-loam textures.
At the same time, the Spanish introduced the Creole cocoa from the South of the Lake in Río Caribe, Carúpano (Sucre state). These cocoa production areas are located in the tropical humid forest and the tropical dry forest, with rainfall between 1.000 and 1.800 mm, with a dry period that ranges between four and six months.
The soils are alluvial with an adequate level of fertility and present problems due to periodic flooding.
While in the western region, they expanded the Creole cocoa from Maracaibo to the foothills of the states of Barinas, Portuguesa, Táchira, Mérida and Apure.
In the South of the Lake, cultivation takes place in areas of tropical humid forest and tropical dry forest, with recent, deep and well-drained alluvial soils. In the piedmont region, the production areas are located in the gallery forests and in the tropical rain forest.
More than 100 euros costs a kilo of chocolate made with this fruit
The Porcelana Creole cocoa variety is considered the best in the world for its fine aroma and flavor, together with the Chuao Creole.
European chocolatiers like Pralus from France and amedei from Italy, which work with Venezuelan Creole cocoa, sell a kilo of chocolate bar for more than 100 euros.
The 50-gram tablet of Chuao chocolate, from the Origen de Pralus collection, has a value of 6,30 euros.
While the 50-gram tablets of dark chocolate Porcelana (creole cocoa from Sur del Lago) and Chuao de Amadei, which are used in the dessert golden opulence, considered by the Guinness organization in 2007 as the most expensive in the world, have a value of 9,90 euros each.
- Text made with information from the books Eating in Venezuela, from the Cazavi to the yucca foam, by Miro Popic; Cocoa, from Editorial Saber; and from the scientific publications El cacao en Venezuela, by Eduardo González Jiménez (1991); Cocoa farmers in Venezuela: from slavery to cooperatives, by Aura Adriana Delgado C. (2008); and The cultivation of Venezuelan cocoa from Maruma, by Luis Alberto Ramírez Méndez (2015).