What is ancestral cocoa and what does it taste like?

Ancestral Creole Cocoa

This variety, whose seeds can also be found in modern creoles, is one of the most difficult to find. They have been seen in small isolated plantations in Choroní.

The ancestral or ancient criollo cocoa is a variety of cocoa that can be found in some of the oldest plantations of this type of fruit, and where the trees grow and have grown without human intervention.

This variety, according to cocoa researchers, is so called as an indication that these were the cocoas cultivated by the ancient settlers of America.

These ancient creoles are highly homozygous and low polymorphic.

There are few cocoa plantations where this variety grows, however, Choroní seems to be one of the few places in Venezuela where it can still be found, especially its seeds inside modern Creole pods.

Choroní ancestral cocoa

The chocolatier and founder of the Darïku chocolate brand, Carolina Morales, is one of the few in the country that makes chocolate with ancestral cocoa beans.

In a conversation with Puro Chocolate, Morales commented that in his quest to always find the best Choroní Creole cocoa, he has obtained the strange ancestral in small plantations where you can only get there walking for hours.

He explained that this variety has been achieved within modern creoles, which are characterized by their strong hybridization, for which the types of cocoa beans that can be found on their cobs are assorted.

He noted that in a cob of modern Creole he has found almonds of the ancestral Creole, of the white Creole and of the Trinitarian type.

“On a cob I can get ten white almonds, about five trinitarias and one or two with the black dots that are the ancestral cocoas,” he said.

The ancestral cocoa bean is characterized by its white color and having a black spot in the center.

The ancestral criollo cocoa almond is characterized by its white color and a black spot in the center.

A special aroma and flavor

The Darïku chocolate house makes its products with 50% Trinitarian-type cocoa, which is a mixture of the Creole type and the foreigner type, and the other 50% with Creole-type varieties.

“In a 60 kilo sack of cocoa, there may be 5 kilos of ancestral cocoa,” Morales commented.

As for its aroma and flavor, he said that the combination of fermented Trinitarian and Criollo type cocoa beans, in which almonds of the ancestral variety sometimes come out, results in a "special aroma and flavor", a style of " cocoa blend”, he added.

Darïku makes a 75% Choroní cocoa dark chocolate bar that contains Trinitarian-type cocoa beans and various varieties of the Creole type, including the ancestral one.

The Darïku dark chocolate bar 75% Choroní cocoa.

This square tablet with a silky texture stands out for its strong flavor and aroma of cocoa and woody tone, which is enjoyed in the mouth as it is savored slowly.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Very good day.
    I would just like to know the selection process of the ancestral almonds, because if they are only recognized by what they have inside, how do you open them before toasting them?
    I'm new to chocolate, but I know that after fermentation comes roasting and then husking, the latter being when you could finally check the inside.

    • These tablets are from the Dariku Chocolatier brand, which you can buy online. They are in Maracay and Choroní.

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