This bar made by Fruition exclusively for Cocoa Runners.
Fruition is a small batch bean to bar chocolate workshop located in the Catskill Mountains of New York. With tremendous attention to detail, they slowly roast and stone grind carefully selected cocoa beans to accentuate their inherent flavour. Sometimes being a perfectionist really pays off when the chocolates tastes this good.
For this limited edition bar, Bryan and Dahlia at Fruition worked in partnership with the team of cocoa bean experts at Ingemann. In Nicaragua, Ingemann found 6 fine cocoa varieties that they wanted to reproduce. They are: Chuno, Rugoso, Nicalizo, Johe, Barba and Medalla. To preserve the particular flavor or each of those varieties, the idea they developed was to process separately each of them, from harvest to export. Hence, the producers were trained on differentiating visually the fruits, and before he breaks them open to extract the wet-mass, he separates all his fruits in piles of pods of each variety.
The genetic profile of the cacao in this bar is Trinitario-Acriollado, meaning that it’s a Trinitario with Criollo genes. These beans are of an exceptional quality and in some lots you can find up to 40% white cacao beans. The first trees that Ingemann identified, were very old trees found in the region of La Dalia, and they were selected based on the flavor potential of the beans. According to the last study of Motamayor, Nicaragua is among the countries where the first Criollo trees are originated, so most of the heirloom trees are high quality genetics. This cocoa is of such high quality that in September 2015, the ICCO (International Cocoa Organization) recognized Nicaragua as a fine cocoa origin. Nicaragua is now one of the only 9 countries recognized as 100% fine cocoa origin.
Ingemann and Fruition were keen to ensure that they worked with the farmers to educate them about best practices in cacao cultivation. They work with just 400 producers throughout Nicaragua and planted in total who have planted more than 1,3 million trees. The average size of those new plantations are 4Ha, so in cocoa terms, these are very small farms. Most of them are in the Northern mountains of Nicaragua, in the region of El Cua and San Jose de Bocay. The climate and soil are particularly good for cocoa, which is developing quickly and healthily. To enable the producers to get the most out of their plantations, they set up the Cocoa Academy: four workshops to train them on plantation management (agronomy, nutrition, pest control…) and the PROFE project: four workshops of farm management (how to better manage their farm on a business point of view: having future plans, registering their costs, their income, having an inventory of tools and equipment etc…). Both trainings are given free of charge and followed-up by technicians visiting the producers to make sure they understood and apply correctly the recommendations. As a result of implementing the techniques they learn in these classes, the farmers have seen increased yieleds, and are able to earn a greater income from their cacao crops.
A smooth, dark chocolate with strong honey notes from the first bite. This develops into a richer caramel flavour, with hints of walnuts.