Paupua New Guinea
Rio Caribe, Venezuela
Paupua New Guinea
Wood-stoked driers used during the rainy season have given Papua New Guinea cacao a reputation for smokiness, but when handled correctly, this Trinitario cacao can be an explosion of fruity flavors. We source our cacao from a single plantation in the Markham Valley and consider it among the best in the world.
Rich, volcanic soils produce over 100,000 tonnes of cacao each year, mostly of bulk quality. Cacao farmers here use ants to control pest insects by patrolling the trees and removing any other insects they find on the pods. The Trinitario cacao we source here is grown on one plantation mixed with rubber and coconuts.
Sulawesi is a K-shaped island located between Borneo and Papua New Guinea. Small farmers produce predominantly unfermented, bulk cacao used predominantly as a filler bean. When fermented, however, this cacao has a good chocolate flavor with bright acidity and citrus notes that are quite useful in blending.
Cacao arrived in Madagascar from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the 1890s. The plantations along the Sambirano River are famous for exquisite cacao with notes of citrus and white wine. The Sambirano, while home to a healthy population of crocodiles, is surrounded by rainforest full of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
Tanzania is perhaps more famous for safaris and coffee, but the region around Mbeya, between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi, produces some of the finest cacao in the world. Considered both rare and fine, the cacao of Tanzania is perfect balance of red fruit and chocolate with hints of pineapple and citrus.
The cacao of Ghana is masterfully fermented and, at its best, is a combination of bright fruit and chocolate brownie. This wonderful cacao is an essential component of many of our chocolates.
Peru (Junín Region)
From the eastern slope of the Andes, in the valley of the Perené River, comes a cacao that is both deliciously fruity and floral and sustainably grown. Cacao was planted here in the 70s from heirloom seeds native to the Upper Amazon—perhaps some that date back before the arrival of Europeans.
Brazil (Pará State)
In the Eastern Amazon, near the small town of San Juan de Cheni, a group of farmers descended from Japanese immigrants grow cacao in complex agroforestry systems with black pepper, Brazil nuts, mahogany, açaí and passion fruit. This cacao has wonderful notes of pear, green apple and white wine.
Classically fruity, with distinct notes of black cherry and tobacco, this Trinitario cacao comes from the central coastal region around the capital Caracas. Incredibly complex in flavor, Carenero is one of cacao's fabled origins.
The island of Trinidad is the birthplace of renown Trinitario cacao—a cross between Forastero and Criollo. Its complex, spicy flavor of red wine and cherries is wonderful by itself or blended with other types of cacao. Although much of its cacao is grown on small farms, Trinidad also is home to some of the world's most famous cacao plantations.
Venezuela (Rio Caribe)
The Rio Caribe region produces both and unfermented and fermented grades of cacao that appear in many European chocolates. SCHARFFEN BERGER selects only the fermented grade, produced by one family who has been growing cacao for over a century.
Fermented Hispaniola cacao from two regions in the Dominican Republic—the broad valley around San Francisco de Macoris, and the rolling hills near Hato Mayor—produce distinctly different flavors. Cacao from San Francisco de Marcoris is earthy with citrus notes, while Hato Mayor cacao has bright raspberry notes with leather and tobacco.
Although the cacao industry in Jamaica has declined, we have begun to work with a single farmer who is renovating a beautiful farm in St. Thomas parish—the extreme eastern tip of Jamaica bordering the lush Blue Mountains famous for coffee. If all goes well look for something very special in 2012.
We source big, bold beans from the mountainous region bordering Costa Rica. The farmers, many of whom belong to indigenous groups, produce a cacao that is earthy and spicy with a strong chocolate flavor.
Cacao trees grow exclusively in the tropical latitudes twenty degrees north and south of the equator. We travel the world, selecting only the finest beans from each region. These beans are chosen for their unique flavor characteristics, and it is these unique notes, and the way we roast, blend and finish them, that contribute to our signature SCHARFFEN BERGER Chocolate flavors.
Learn more about these cacao producing regions on the map above.