Venezuela


Venezuela is often cited as the source of the world's best chocolate -primarily due to the existence of the much vaunted and much misunderstood 'Criollo' variant of cocoa bean. But in all honesty, cocoa from this South American country offers such wide variety of flavours given the existence of local ecosystems which have reinforced genetic varieties in much more of significant way than many more 'open' environments. That being said, there are a number of 'areas' to look out for that have produced excellent cocoas on a fairly consistent basis. They are (with some degree of priority order): Chuao, Ocumare, Puerto Cabello, Cuyagua, Patanemo, Rio Caribe, Maracaibo and Barlovento.

The reason that it is difficult to identify Venezuelan chocolate with any one type of flavour profile is that the natural environment is so varied. You have the rich, lush valleys of Ocumare de la Costa, Cuyagua, Chuao and Choroni, and then the less isolated areas around Lake Maracaibo. Added to that we have a wide variety of cocoas in the form of Aragua, Miranda, Bolivar, Sucre, Zulia, Merida, Carabobo and Barinas. 

So there you have it. There are just so many different types of chocolate from Venezuela that it would be disingenuous of us to recommend chocolate from Venezuela as it has a certain flavour profile. What we can say is that Venezuelan chocolate tends to range from the 'very good' to the 'absolutely fantastic'.