The Three Varieties of Fine Flavour Cacao
There are only three varieties of cacao that officially qualify as “fine flavour”, according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO). This includes:
1. “Nacional” (primarily from Ecuador, as well as one part of northern Peru)
2. “Criollo” (primarily from Venezuela, and as well as a few pockets of Central America)
3. “Trinitario” (originally from Trinidad and Tobago, although now grown in other locations as well). Technically, “Trinitario” is a family of cultivars, rather than a true variety.
Where Does Fine Flavour Cacao Come From?
Only 5% of the global cacao supply is designated as “fine flavour” (aka “fine flavor” or “fino y de aroma”), the majority of which comes from only one country: Ecuador. The remaining 95% of the global cacao supply is designed as “bulk” cacao, which primary includes varieties like “Amelonado” (heavily planted in West Africa) and high-yield cultivars like CCN-51, which is known for its poor flavor profile.
What Does To'ak Use?
To’ak exclusively uses “Nacional” cacao from Ecuador.
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