The Caribbean includes both the Caribbean islands and the continental American regions surrounding the Caribbean Sea. This part of the globe is best known as a tourist destination. But the Caribbean is also a major cocoa farmer. It’s a tropical tree that only grows in countries with a hot and humid climate, as in the case of the Caribbean islands. Moreover, cocoa obtained in these islands is rare and highly appreciated.
Cocoa from the Caribbean Islands
There are different varieties of cocoa, producing fruits called pods, whose seeds will make it possible to have cocoa beans. These pods have different characteristics that can determine the final quality of the chocolate. The type of cocoa found in the Caribbean is criollo. It is the rarest and most desirable of all beans.
They cover only 1 to 5% of world production. The main characteristics of this cocoa tree are its pale pink flower, with an orange-yellow or reddish orange pod when they reach maturity. The surface of the fruit is rough. The beans obtained are plump, almost round, very light in colour, and can go as far as white. It has a weak and slightly bitter fragrant aroma, with a delicate taste. After treatment, very fine and aromatic cocoa beans are obtained. They are considered the best cocoa and are the main ingredient used in luxury chocolates. These cocoa trees are generally harvested twice a year. This is in June and December.
Cacaos criollo of Caribbean
Cocoa production in the Caribbean accounts for about 2% of world production. Since Criollo cocoa is rare and in high-demand, a large part of the economy of these islands is based on it. In addition to cocoa, most Caribbean islands invest in the production and export of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, bananas, sugar cane. Many master chocolate makers use this product in the manufacture of their chocolate. Due to their rarity, Caribbean Criollo cocoa is only used as a main ingredient in very high quality chocolates.
The Valrhona Caribbean Chocolate 66%
For our Chocolate Macaron we use the Caribbean 66% Chocolate from Valrhona; a perfectly balanced and voluptuous dark chocolate. Long in the mouth, this blend of Grands Crus is characterized by subtle acidity and sweet bitterness. On this beautiful balance, Caraïbe fully expresses its chocolate and roasted dried fruit notes.