When French Broad set their sights on making bean-to-bar chocolate, they sough out a high quality, reliable source of cacao. So in the summer of 2011, they went on an expedition to Perú. They met up with James, a friend of Dan’s sister who happened to work as an organic certifier for BioLatina. James helped arrange farm and fermentary visits at several organic cacao operations throughout the regions of San Martín and Piura. For over two weeks they travelled through Huanuco, Tingo Maria, Tocache, Tarapoto, Piura, and Chulucanas.
More recently, they’ve build more and more partnerships in Peru. including an indigenous community in Amazonas, a co-op from Tocache (San Martin), and another cooperative called Pangoa CAC, from where the beans to this bar are sourced.
CAC Pangoa had principally been a coffee cooperative, but because of the effects of climate change, coffee is becoming increasingly challenging for the farmers to grow in the region So the farmer members are turning more of their attention to the commercial production of cacao. CAC Pangoa, a large cooperative with over 700 farmer members, is at a crossroads. Most of their cacao production is undifferentiated, what might be called “commodity cacao.” But under the leadership of Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, with support from an organization called Conservation Cacao, the members are being encouraged and trained to devote a portion of their production to fine flavor varietals with more attention given to the quality of harvest and fermentation. Conservation Cacao’s mission is to save the rainforest through sustainable cacao. The chocolate you will taste in this bar brings this effort to fruition.
The bar is intense, bright and fruit-forward. We detected some green apple, citrus and hibiscus hints