Profile of spice, leather, citrus, nut...
400 year old Estate
Very rare, low volume
Mix of 25 different strains
Reliable single Source
World's first designated protected cacao domain
Legendary cacao, often mis-sold due to it's tremendous value and historic, unique, unparalled flavour profile. Cacao Traders can sell Venezuelan Guasare cacao for $5, they can sell Chuao (next door, basically over the mountains) for $15. The temptation is to give other cacao the Chuao name. It's unnacceptable. After several unpleasant months in 2020, Solkiki finally persuaded an established, respected and large cacao trader to delist their Chuao offering because it simply wasn't Chuao. They had sold a lot of fake Chuao to many makers.
Speaking with the co-op MD we were arranging our first shipment which then stalled for a further year while logistics and distribution took over. Now we are forced to purchase via a middleman broker, which is something that goes against our preferences, but needs must, it's an historic cacao, a great operation to support and in our hands makes utterly compelling chocolate.
Chuao is very rare, highly-prized and licensed. Anyone buying beans is issued a certficiate of authenticity. Others traders and other chocolatemakers offer Chuao at a premium. Ask to see their certificate of authenticity!
Chuao and its cacao have a long history. It was one of the first coastal towns founded in Venezuela. Located within the Henri Pittier National Park, Chuao is at the foot of the coastal mountain range. It is an isolated town in a land full of beaches and mountains.
It is a town with African American influence. Almost 100% of its inhabitants are natives, of which the majority are descendants of slaves brought to Venezuela during the Spanish colonization. They have preserved their roots through music by dancing to the beat of the African drum.
It has a population of approximately 3,000, of which around 200 are involved in cacao, an activity that has been carried out in the town for more than 400 years. The first records of Chuao were from 1502. From then, the valley became an important cacao growing area.
Around 1650 the cacao lands of Chuao were ceded to the Catholic Church. The donation gave origin to a historic site. A church was built, as well as a patio and surrounded areas dedicated to cacao production, processing, drying, social & cultural gathering. This site is called “Obras Pas.”
Currently, the farmland is worked directly by workers belonging to the "Empresa Campesina Chuao" (Chuao Farmers Association), a civil association of 131 members. To be part of the association, a person must be born in Chuao and be a descendant. This rule aims to guarantee throughout the years the continuity of the centuries-old tradition of cacao cultivation.
70% Chuao - Venezuela
Organic Gran Chililique cacao beans, unrefined organic cane sugar.