All of us here at Elements for Life is a little cacao crazy. In a good way, that is. Over the years, we've tried many different types cacao from around the world; some good, some bad, so terrible and some exceptional. You can guess which we prefer and use in our raw chocolate goodies.
For the past few years, we've been working with a truly delightful supply of Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional raw cacao. Unfortunately, the supplier had become unreliable over the 12-18 months. Which made our life rather difficult, to say the least. So we'd been looking for an alternative supply.
After much searching and testing, we've found one that meets our high standards and are switching to a new supply of fabulous Peruvian Criollo raw cacao.
The Criollo variety of cacao is often referred to as the “Queen of Cacao” with a reputation of the finest flavours. Criollo only makes up around 5% of the world's cacao production and is used in the best chocolate you'll find. You can read more about the types of cacao here.
Our Criollo cacao is organically grown by producers who employ traditional farming techniques and low-intensity production. The pods are harvested by hand before being broken apart and allowed to ferment, which brings out the rich, complex flavours that criollo beans are renowned for. The dried and fermented cacao beans are then crushed/peeled (winnowed) and the skins blown away to produce raw cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to initially produce raw cacao paste and under further grinding the oil comes out and solidifies to become raw cacao butter. The remaining cacao mass is gently milled into raw cacao powder. Temperatures are monitored at all stages of the processing to ensure they remain low to preserve nutrients.
We're proud of our raw cacao, in fact, we're really proud of our cacao. We've spent a long time and a lot of effort to source the finest raw cacao possible. The flavours you can expect from our 100% Criollo Raw Cacao are complex and aromatic. To our knowledge, there simply isn't a better supply of Peruvian raw cacao available. To us, it's the best raw cacao on the planet!
One of our lovely customers and good friends, Bridie Nelson has written a poem just for us, so its only right that we share it with you.