A few facts about chocolate
To be called chocolate, a product must contain cocoa. The cocoa or cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) originated in South and Central America, but is now grown commercially in suitable environments between 20 degrees north and 20 degrees south of the equator.
Generally, experts distinguish between two different grades of cocoa beans:
Commodity cocoa, So called ordinary or bulk beans (85% of world production).
Forastero from cocoa plantations in West Africa, Brazil and the Far East. These beans, without specification of variety and origin, form the basis of today's modern production of chocolate.
Noble-grade cocoa, so-called “Fine Flavor Beans”.
Criollo (Spanish, “indigenous”, “native”) has become a very rare cocoa bean (3% of world production). In the search for the best cocoa, this variety was re-discovered in Venezuela, Ecuador and Java.
Trinitario is the initial hybrid from Criollo and Forastero trees from Central America, northern South America and Madagascar (12% of world production).
The Noble-grade cocoas, in particular Criollo “fine flavor beans” are usually used to enrich the flavor of premium chocolates, because they are rare and expensive.
At Michael Mischer Chocolates, we exclusively use Chocolates made from pure variety noble-grade cocoa beans.