Belgian Chocolate Expertise
ROYAL GULF CHOCOLATS BV
Main Types of Cocoa Trees
Three major types of cacao are cultivated:
The Criollo tree originates in Central America and gives very high quality cacao beans and is mainly cultivated in South and Central America. Croillo has a fine and delicate flavor, slightly bitter, very red and very fragrant. The yield is fairly low It represents only 5% of world production, by its susceptibility to disease and insects. A number of varieties of Criollo are cultivated; in Colombia and Venezuela well-known varieties are "Chuao", "Porcelana", "Puerto Cabello" and "Carupano". Criollo beans are often mixed with other varieties of cacao when making chocolate because it contains intense aroma, mean while it is the most expensive cocoa beans. When you find a very expensive chocolate do not wonder... it is most probably made of Criollo finest cocoa beans, It is intended primarily for high-end chocolate.
The Forastero is slightly bitter cocoa and butter, a little stronger aroma, more or less fine quality in the growing areas, it is very much cultivated in Africa, but also in Central and South America and constitutes approximately 80% of world production of cacao. This tree grows faster and gives higher yield than other types of cacao. A number of varieties are cultivated, in Venezuela excellent varieties are "Carenero Superior", "Caracas Natural" and "Rio Caribe". The Forastero "Amenolado" variety produces delicate, aromatic beans and is cultivated primarily in Ecuador. So it is of ordinary quality cocoa that go into making common chocolates.
The Trinitario is a crossbreed between the Forastero and Criollo, and is mainly cultivated in Central and South America and Asia. It has its aroma from Criollo and its resistance to disease and its productivity from Forastero. It does not attribute its pure species and the quality of its cocoa varies from average to above, with a high cocoa butter content. It represents 15% of world production, it now tends to replace the Forastero.
The flavor of the cacao beans is not only dependent on the variety, but also on the soil, temperature, sunshine and rainfall. It is now possible to buy chocolates made with cacao beans from one single region and thus compare the aromas; these chocolates are often called specialty chocolates, in contrast to ordinary chocolate which are made with mostly cheap cacao beans from several regions and with more than one cacao variety.
Our business partners provide us only with the finest cocoa beans from Colombian cocoa farms to insure that we have something special and unique in our products that can differenciate us from other chocolate producers. We focus on the quality and flavor in all our produtcts, thats what makes us succesfull in our business.