In the west of the country there are more than nine varieties of Creole

Creole cocoa

This type of cocoa, originally from Ancón de Maruma, is recognized mainly by the elongated shape of its pod, its pronounced apex and the white or speckled white color of its almonds.

In the states of western Venezuela, from Táchira to the Sur del Lago subregion, made up of the municipalities of Mérida and Zulia, there are at least nine varieties of cocoa Creole, considered the best in the world for its fine aroma and flavor.

The Porcelana, the Guasare, the Lopatera, the Benavides, the Adjuntas, the Novillero, the Bocadillo, the Andinos, and the Pentagona are some of the varieties of Creole cocoa that have been cataloged by cocoa experts in this extensive area of ​​the country. .

The finest chocolates in the world are made with Criollo cacao. Photo Yoset Montes.

And although they vary a bit between them physically, the elongated shape of their cob, their pronounced apex and the white or speckled white color of their almonds, are unique characteristics that identify them as Creoles.

How to recognize a Creole cocoa?

cocoas criollos Venezuelans identify themselves by their shape, rigor and apex; as well as for the color of the almonds, of the flower and for its hardness of the cut.

The shape of the Criollo cocoa pod is elongated, parallel, oblong (which is longer than it is wide) and its texture is both smooth, like that of the Criollo Porcelana (like a melon), and rough, like the Criollo Guasare.

Likewise, its almond is usually white or white with violet specks.

Another indicator of Criollo cocoa is the presence of a scar or black spot on its almond.

Criollo cocoa trees have their own characteristics

In addition to the shape of the cob and the color of its kernel, it is possible to identify a Criollo cocoa by the characteristics of its trees.

The buds are light in color and the leaves are red to brown (some lighter and some darker) and stand out for their peach skin.

The flower is another indicator, it is red.

Cocoa beans after the fermentation and drying process. Photo Yoset Montes.

Curious facts about cocoas from the west of the country

  • The rough Creole cocoas are the ones that have been planted in South America and Central America.
  • The rougher the cocoa, the more Creole it is.
  • Porcelana cocoa, which has multiplied in other parts of the country with its seed, is from Zulia.
  • The oldest Porcelain Criollo cocoa, which was known as bite sleeve cocoa, was small and its apex pronounced.
  • The current Porcelain cocoa pod has white, red and green colors, and the reds have different shades, from the darkest to the pinkest.
  • Guasare Criollo cocoa is a rustic, highly productive cocoa, but it has been difficult for it to adapt to the Sur del Lago subregion.
  • The pods of green guasares have white kernels, while the pods of red guasar cacaos have segregated violet or white kernels. There are no white Guasare Criollo cocoa pods.
  • Lopatera Creole cocoa is highly productive and its pod is green and red.
  • The Pentagona cocoa, which is considered the father of the cocoa, has the furrows outwards, instead of having them inwards, and it is a very strange creole that exists in the municipality of San Juan de Lagunilla, in the state of Zulia.
  • In the municipality of Aricagua, in Mérida, a cocoa is produced whose green cob stands out for its white almonds, and the red one, for light violet or white speckled almonds.
  • Bocadillo Criollo cocoa, grown in Mérida, is famous for its caper flavor and for being very aromatic. While the Benavidez criollo cocoa, also this entity, is very productive.
  • The Porcelain creoles, which are like the melon-shaped outsiders, are characterized by having a very pronounced apex, with a curve, like a crescent.

This text was written with information from the Cacaos Criollos, Mitos y Actualidad symposium, given by the professor of the Universidad del Táchira Iraima Chacón, at the Expoferia Cacao y Ron Miranda 2022, Caracas.

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