Light roasty nuttiness with a finish of citrus.
Mexican cacao beans and cacao butter, organic panela (cane sugar) from Colombia.
ABOUT THE ORIGIN:
The Rayen cooperative is located in the region of Tapachula in the State of Chiapas Mexico. This part of Mexico is a very important cacao-growing origin in that it has been growing cacao for over 4000 years. Due to cross pollination this has lead to a vast diversity of cacao genetics creating a deeply complex finished chocolate.
Many of the growers that are part of the cooperative have been cultivating cacao for their entire life. One of the growers (also the treasurer of Rayen) bought his piece of land in 1985 and leased parts of it to other farmers. Planting a polyculture of trees such as mamey and chalum trees to provide shade to the cacao trees, and flowers to fill the understories it feels like less of a farm and more like a balanced natural environment. Because the farmer’s here are focusing on multiple succession style planting over a long period of time, there is a great sense of balance. The farmers here use all-organic methods, making and providing shared use of fertilizer made from a biodigester. When Jay and I visited with our friend Juliet in March of 2020 we were astonished by the lack of mosquitos and overall feeling of well-being.
The cacao is fermented 6-7 days in a central fermentation facility collectively owned by all members of the cooperative. The method used is the space-efficient raised box method. The juice is collected from the fermented cacao fruit and consumed during celebrations. We are currently collaborating on a project to help the women in this cooperative turn this juice into a value-added concentrate.
Overall, this bar from Chiapas is very unique. Mexico has not won any awards yet for their fine-quality cacao made into chocolate. But we hope to change that with this bar.