THE COUNTRY AND REGION
Marañón Canyon, Perú
December 2016-February 2017
Pure Nacional, with its complex fruit and floral flavors, once dominated the fine chocolate market worldwide. In 1916, diseases struck the Pure Nacional population in Ecuador and within three years 95% of the trees were destroyed. The prized cocoa was thought to be lost, until Dan Pearson and Brian Horsely discovered cacao trees growing on small isolated farms in the Marañón Canyon. This remote horseshoe-shaped canyon surrounded by walls, creates a unique microclimate where the trees thrive at an altitude between 1,000 to 1,250 meters.The mother tree of all of the Pure Nacional clones grown by the small farmers in the Marañón Canyon was found in the farm of Don Fortunato. No. 4 was the number of the sample submited to the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative that was determined to be Pure Nacional.
Pure Nacional with a rare mix of 40% white beans. Genetic testing has proven that these cacao trees were indigenous to Peru and were not exotic introductions.
The fermentation protocols were developed after two years of trials. Once the pods are harvested, the beans are collected in sealed containers and carefully pre-selected by hand before fermentation. The white beans are fermented and dried separately from the purple beans. Fermentation is done in wooden boxes covered by food-grade jute bags. To equalize bean temperatures and assure even fermentation, the beans are removed daily to a special table and stirred thoroughly by hand. After completing fermentation, the beans undergo a drying process to get rid of acids and protect the delicate Nacional flavours.
Delicate body with rich notes of fruit and flowers. The white beans add nutty flavours to the mix. Low bitterness and acidity with no astringency.