TheChocPro | Costa Rica Trip

Our recent trip to Costa Rica this January was an eye-opener in many ways. The pristine rain forests and volcanic mountain slopes of this Central American country should be capable of producing sublime cacao. Historically though, Costa Rica has only rarely fulfilled this potential. For decades most Costa Rican cacao has been the Amelonado-type Forastero grown in large open field blocks, similar to how bananas and sugar cane are grown. This type of mono-cropping is a recipe for disaster with cacao and, sure enough, in the early 1980s a fungal disease called Monilliasis virtually wiped out the entire nation's production.

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TheChocPro | Cacao Tree Species

While cacao has been used as a food product by Mezoamerican peoples for over 3000 years, the "chocolate bar" has only been around since the 1850's. Before that chocolate was enjoyed primarily as a beverage. There are over 80 different varieties of cacao trees used for making chocolate. Like apples, or wine grapes they all have their own unique flavour profile and some are far superior to others.

Just how geekish are we feeling? Grab your favourite chocolate bar and read on here...

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