We import from Africa, South America, Asia and the Caribbean
Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cacao pod. Cacao pods grow on the stem and the adult branches of the cacao tree. They grow well in areas with a high temperature. The minimum temperature that cacao needs to survive is 18-21˚C.
There are two types of cocoa beans: Criollo and Forastero. Forastero occurs most frequently in West Africa, whereas Criollo occurs most frequently in Latin America. Trinitario is a cross between the Criollo and the Forastero and occurs in the Caribbean, among other regions.
In the Dominican Republic, Humarias produces both Hispanola Organico and Sanchez cocoa beans. Hispanola Organico is made from fresh white cocoa beans from Humarias’ own plantations, which are checked and fermented (a process which takes around six days) before being dried and packaged. Sanchez is made from white cocoa beans which are purchased locally or come from the company’s own plantations. Humarias dries and packages the Sanchez cocoa beans.
The soil, the climate, the fermentation, the drying process, the alkalising (method for neutralising acids) and the roasting are what largely determine the aroma of the cocoa. Most cocoa is used in chocolate: a mixture of cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar or a sugar substitute.
Cocoa has been used for centuries. Archaeological research has shown that the Mayans were already drinking cacao in 400 BC. The first European to come into contact with cacao was Christopher Columbus, who reached Nicaragua in 1502, but it was Herman Cortés who took the recipe for Xocoatl to Spain.
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