REGION AND COUNTRY
Toledo District, Belize
Half of Belize is covered in dense jungle and as much as 80% of its rainforests remain unexplored. Conquistador Hernán Cortés travelled through the area currently known as Toledo and the historical accounts from his visit reveal this area was even then known for its cacao production and commerce. Recent archaeological discoveries indicate that Belize was in fact the centre of the ancient Maya civilization with as much as 3 million inhabitants. There are an estimated 30.000 Maya’s living in Belize now. They live on the land of their Ke’kchi and Mopan ancestors who farmed for 1000 of years. This cacao is produced by small subsistence farmers living and working in the most impoverished and underdeveloped jungle communities of Belize. The scale of production is very small, with only a few farms exceeding 1 hectare. All the cacao in the region is historically grown organically.
March - May (main harvest), October - February (mid-crop).
This cacao is a local Belizean Trinitario variety hybridized with local Criollo.
POST HARVESTING PROCESS
The beans are centrally fermented in dark sheds and covered with palm leaves or other insulating material. Soon, the sugars in white pulp begin to ferment and the temperature inside the box rises. The fermentation takes 5-7 days, depending on the variety of cocoa. Farmers continuously monitor rotate and mix the beans for better aeration. Once fermented, the seeds are dried in the hot, tropical sun.
Full flavour profiles with pleasant citrus acidity. Begin notes of soft tropical fruits (banana, zapote, starfruit) followed by nutty notes of peanut and cashew.