Ucayli River, Peru 70%
My newest origin: Ucayli River, Peru!
For years, I made two bars using cacao from San Martín, Peru–it was actually my second-ever origin! Earlier this year (2020), I ran out of it and the organization I partnered with no longer imports cacao… So, I took this opportunity to switch to Ucayali River, a cacao I’ve long wanted to work with. I received my first sample of this cacao a few years ago and was blown away.
Much like my San Martín bar, this pure dark chocolate has a lot of fruity notes. I taste figs, bananas, and cherries. But, it also has a great chocolate base note and an interesting subtle woody cedar note. It’s a delightful, complex, and nuanced bar of chocolate.
I source the cacao for this bar from Meridian Cacao, who works directly with cacao producers, including farmers, co-ops, and fermentaries to find and ethically import great cacao into the US. From their page on Ucayali:
UCAYALI RIVER CACAO is a central fermentary that works with cocoa farmers along the Ucayali River outside of the Peruvian city of Pucallpa. The region has historically been aﬄicted with unrest from narco-traﬃcking and the presence of the Shining Path militant group. Ucayali River Cacao has partnered with USAID and Alianza Peru to give local farmers access to an alternate market to cocaine. Working with around 400 smallholder farmers with one to three hectares of land each, Ucayali River Cacao buys wet cacao at a premium price. They have worked with Daniel O’Doherty of Cacao Services to hone their fermenting and drying processes.
CACAO IN THE UCAYALI REGION
There are three groups of cacao that can be found in the Ucayali region: various Trinitario clones, CCN-51 and what the locals call “comun”. The comun varieties are similar to Trinitario, lower in bitterness and astringency. Ucayali River Cacao purchases only the comun and Trinitario clone varieties.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
–Ben Rasmussen, Chocolate Maker, Potomac Chocolate
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar
Weight: 2.12 oz (60g)
Soy, dairy, nut, and gluten free. VEGAN