The Criollo variety of cacao beans are an ancient strain that is a native-born heirloom species. Our cacao comes from the high-elevation volcanic soils of the Arriba Nacional forests of Ecuador. The Criollo variety is considered worldwide to have the finest full floral aroma and flavor profile. It holds a deliciously slightly bitter taste and is classified as a fermented food. Our Cacao beans remain unroasted – just sun-dried.
100% Arriba Criollo
Botanical Name: theobroma cacao (pronounce kah-kow) – Criollo *200 G bag *
Certified Fair Trade, Organic, and 100% Arriba Criollo cacao from a farming cooperative supporting the livelihood of over 3000 small and sustainable growers.
Cacao is believed to contain high amounts of antioxidants such as Flavonoids and many other nutrients and minerals such as Stearic and Oleic fatty acid, Anandamide (the bliss chemical), Theobromine, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, PEA, and Tryptophan. Cacao is highly anti-inflammatory and contains heart-protective properties, balances hormones and restore feelings of well-being. Cacao is commonly used to increase energy, fight chronic fatigue, anti-aging and appetite suppressant properties; reduce insulin resistance and sensitivity, improve kidney and stimulate bowel function, protect the skin and prevent tooth decay, improve cognitive function, as an aphrodisiac.
The process from farm to your kitchen looks a little like this: the ripe pod is cut from the tree, opened, the rind discarded, and the pulp and seeds laid out for several days. This is where the fermentation process occurs. During this time the pulp liquefies or “sweats” which unlocks the full aroma of the cacao bean. This fermentation process is usually followed by roasting BUT OUR CACAO BEANS REMAIN RAW and UNROASTED (just sun-dried). This is essential in order to maintain the essential nutrients and health benefits cacao is known for. After this, the raw bean is gently crushed into pieces or “nibs”. Once the Cacao nibs are ground into a thick brown liquid called cacao paste (aka cacao liquor) which is made up of cocoa butter (55-60%). This cacao paste is then pressed until it separates making cacao butter and a cacao “cake” which is then ground to produce cacao powder.
Best kept at room temperatures around 20C (68F), away from direct sunlight, protected from moisture, and tightly sealed.