Criollos y Trinitarios
Cacao Fino de Aroma comes from criollo and trinitarian varieties, which are different, in aroma and flavour, from common cocoas which derive from forastero varieties.
Trinitarian cocoas -highly sought after around the world- are Fino de Aroma, aromatic and mild in flavour. The trinitario variety is the result of cross between the criollo and forastero varieties and is produced mainly in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
Forastero cocoa is the most common in the world; it is resitant to climate changes and has an acidic astringent flavour. It is the main variety grown in Africa.
A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in) thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod) filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called "baba de cacao" in South America) with a lemonade-like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple color.
Cocoa bean is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter can be extracted.
The fermentation process involves removing the cocoa bean from its pod together with its pulp. This is then placed in wooden boxes and exposed to micro-organisms naturally present in the environment. These micro-organisms decompose the pulp which, in turn, sets off biochemical and physical processes which are responsible for the development of the precursors of aromas and flavours present in chocolate.
Drying is a gradual process undertaken in the field by the grower. The beans are exposed to sunlight for several days in order to reduce their water content from 55% to 7% and to eliminate some of the acids naturally present in cocoa.
A good drying process is essential if mould and fungus are to be avoided and to guarantee a good flavour.
The cocoa beans are roasted in the production plant, in a process where by the cocoa nibs are exposed to very high temperatures which will mould their flavour and develop the aroma and flavour of the final chocolate product. At this point, the sensorial properties can be modified, intensified and defined.
This fundamental process is undertaken in the production plant and it is responsible for the final touches in terms of the flavour of the chocolate. Acids, present in the cocoa, are eliminated and the flavour of the recipe and chocolate texture are nicely rounded.
The special aroma and flavour of cocoa do not only stem from the type of cocoa -forastero, trinitarian or criollo- but also from soil composition, climatic conditions, and primarily, the work of the cocoa artisan – the cocoa grower.
The four fundamental factors that ensure the special chocolate aroma and flavour are fermentation, drying, roasting and conching. Fermentation and drying are undertaken by farmers on the farms; and - the final touch that defines the organoleptic profile of each product - roasting and conching, take place in the production plant.
Thanks to its close relationship with the cocoa growers and its training programs, CasaLuker is able to control these factors, offering its customers the best flavour.
CasaLuker together with Cenicafé* -one of the most important coffee research institutes in the world- began a classification process for cocoa originate from the principal cocoa producing areas of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and other cocoa producing regions in the world.
In this study we researched the sensorial characteristics of each type of cocoas, including the identification and quantification of the volatile aroma compounds as well as other physical, chemical, nutritional and functional characteristics that allowed us to define the individuality of each.