I really liked the Peruvian booth at the Salon du Chocolat, it gave loads of information about the different Peruvian cacao types and presented about 6 to 8 chocolate maker. Two caught my eye: Maraná, which packages are covered with designs and aquarelle from Peruvian artists and Cocama which is also the name of an indigenous tribe of the Amazon. Both go a step further than normal “single origin” and take you on a journey to discover Peru’s different cacaos in each region.
Many of today’s Peruvian cacao farmers, used to have as an only income option the production of coca leaves. This changed during the 90s when a very successful program introduced cacao among other as an alternative to the illegal drug production. Some farmers took up this opportunity creating a huge change not only for themselves but also for their villages. Maraná, as well as Cocama, support these farmers not only with buying their beans but also by helping them improve their fermenting processes.
They have been able to demonstrate that cacao growing countries can be able to make a very fine chocolate. Which is no small thing after centuries of an ongoing rift. Bien hecho!
Thanks to Giuseppe and Sebastián for the nice chat. It was a pleasure meeting you.