Specialists say they have detected more than thirty varieties of Creole cocoa and at least a few hundred Trinitarians in different cocoa plantations in Venezuela.
Of the three types of cocoa classified in the world: criollo, forastero and trinitario, Venezuela stands out for its wide variety of criollo, grown mainly in the western region of the country, and trinitario, which is a cross between criollo and forastero. , with a considerable presence in the central region.
However, these types of cocoa are classified in our country, according to the producing regions, because they develop different flavors and aromas, unique to each locality.
Among these, the varieties of Creole Guasare and Porcelana stand out, from the western region of the country, which provide flavors of molasses and honey; those from Patanemo, Canoabo, Chuao and Carenero, from the central region, flavored with nuts; those from Caruao, from La Guaira, flavored with mango and bananas; or those from Río Caribe, Agua Fría and Agua Santa, N-65, Villarroel, in Sucre, with fruity and floral flavors.
The Venezuelan chocolatier and businesswoman María Fernanda Di Giacobbe assures that although they are not all catalogued, there are more than thirty varieties of Creole cocoa and more than one hundred of Trinitarian in Venezuela.
Types of Creole cocoas
Until 1825, in our country only criollo cocoa. This type, originally from Venezuela, was produced long before the colony by our indigenous people in the Ancón de Maruma, the jungles that look towards Lake Maracaibo, the border point with the old provinces of Mérida and Trujillo.
Known in the world as fine aroma, this type of cocoa has a mild bitterness and fruity flavors, detecting citrus, with very low astringency and aromatic delicacy, which makes it highly demanded for the production of gourmet artisanal chocolate, fine chocolates, varietal tablets for tasting and tasting.
However, the trees of this variety are the most delicate and prone to pests, reducing their productivity. Of all cocoa produced in the world, less than 10% corresponds to this.
Likewise, among the most prominent types of Creole cocoa in our country are those grown in the South of the Lake, such as Porcelain, Pentagon, Merida, Ocumare and Guasare.
The expansion of cocoa from the South of the Lake towards the Venezuelan coast during the colony formed a path of important towns with a cocoa tradition such as 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; Windward in Miranda and Pariah, among others in Sucre.
Trinitarian cocoa types
Trinitario is a type of cocoa that began to be cultivated in Venezuela long after the Spanish began to exploit this fruit in the country between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.
The expansion of Criollo cocoa to the Orinoco Delta could have originated the crossing with forastero cocoa (an indigenous type of the Amazon Basin with little flavor and aroma, but greater resistance to pests and diseases) from the Orinoquia, which resulted in the trinity
This type of cocoa offers an earlier production and yield, and although it gives a very pronounced aroma and flavor, in some cases it does not have the same quality as the Creole.
It is fruity and perfumed and has a wide range of flavours, as well as being aromatic and persistent on the palate. Its wood tones are very characteristic.
Most of the plantations located in the states of Aragua, Miranda and Sucre grow this type of cocoa. Those of Chuao, Choroní and Ocumare, in Aragua; of Barlovento, in Miranda; Río Caribe, Carúpano, El Pilar and Yaraguapano, in Sucre, are some of the country in which the production of this type of cocoa stands out.
In Barlovento, Carenero Superior is a type of Trinitarian cocoa with denomination of origin.
Classification of types of cocoa
The first botanist to classify two types of cocoa was Morris. In 1822 he categorized this fruit into two large groups: the Creole and the foreigner.
Forastero cocoa is the most cultivated in countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in some of South America such as Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.
It is a type of high resistance to diseases and pests, so it is highly coveted to genetically improve other types of cocoa, but its aroma and flavor is of low quality. They are bitter, astringent and slightly acidic.
Forastero cocoa has no finesse or diversity of flavors and is used to make chocolates that are considered cheap.
Depending on their shape and aroma they can be classified as Angoleta, Cundeamor, Amelonado and Calabacillo.
In 1964 the botanist José Cuatrecasas made another division based on the one previously proposed by Morris, adding the Trinitarian type.
- With information from the texts Cocoa production in Venezuela: Towards a new rurality, Quintero R., María L., Ligia N. (ULA); and Venezuela, Cocoa and Chocolate: An inheritance, a treasure and a business opportunity, by María Fernanda Di Giacobbe