Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51

Casey
@casey
12/02/08 12:54:43PM
54 posts
There is debate about the Arriba bean and whether indeed there is any such thing any longer. Some say that Arriba is one bean in a category they would like to call Nacional, and others say it synonymous with that term. Many chocolate makers using cacao from Ecuador slap this fashionable Arriba label on their packages since this carries with it the status of the fine and flavor beans.And so opening up a general discussion on Arriba, Nacional and Ecuador chocolate, and a place to gather links and references for further reading.And also specifically attempting to get to the bottom of which companies are using CCN51, and which are using "Arriba" or Nacional beans that are distinguished from that clone. What I have been told so far is that of the companies producing the chocolate in Ecuador, that Plantations uses "mainly the CCN51 clone," and that Republica del Cacao uses "100% pure Nacional beans." And if that is the case, what precisely can 100% pure Nacional mean nowadays? And the other companies who are making the chocolate at source such as Pacari, Caoni, and Kallari, what is the cacao? And what about couverture Arriba from Felchlin and Callebaut? And what is the source of cacao for companies such as Dagoba, Hachez, and Chocolove, some of which do not make their own chocolate from the bean, but who use the word Arriba?
updated by @casey: 10/11/17 12:04:09AM
Sarah Hart
@sarah-hart
12/02/08 02:26:26PM
63 posts
Excellent topic, casey. Thanks for starting it. I have nothing to add because I don't have much knowledge on the subject but will be interested to follow along and learn.
Clay Gordon
@clay
12/02/08 10:28:46PM
1,680 posts

Sam:

As always, I am struck by the care and thought you've put into your reply.

The story goes (and you are basically right), that traders coming into the port of Guayaquil looking for the famed Ecuadorian "pepe de oro" (golden seed) were told to go "arriba" up the Guayas river to find the beans they were looking for. Today we know these areas as Los Rios, Manabi, Quevedo.

It is also important to note that the bean variety has always been called Nacional. Arriba is the name given to the unique flavor, which is not a genetic characteristic as Sam has noted because rootstock transplanted in other countries does not give rise to beans with the same flavor. So there is something about the terroir - in conjunction with that specific genetics - that results in the flavor. The Nacional flavor is likened to orange blossom with jasmine mixed in. Personally, I think the best example of this flavor I have ever tasted is the first harvest and production of Felchlin's Cru Sauvage.

I also have to agree with Sam about CCN51's undeserved reputation for poor quality. I think the photo she links to was taken on the same trip in 2005 that I was on. In this case, the pods were culled early in the week before being transported to the collection center and there was a national holiday over the weekend and a soccer match against arch-rivals Peru on Monday or somesuch so the beans had been fermenting in bags for at least five days before they were picked over to remove placenta. Unfortunately, the people doing the cleaning were not tasked with removing the rotting beans.

BTW: CCN stands for Collecion Castro Naranjal. Carlos Castro was famous cacao breeder in Ecuador, and the particular hybrid - of a trinitario with the the Nacional - was number 51. It was championed by the Crespo family and it was on their farm outside Guayaquil where we saw beans like this.

Ecuador is famous (or infamous) for its lackadaisical approach to fermentation, probably because of the convoluted market system that evolved out of the destruction of the Hacienda system of the late 1800s, brought about by agrarian land reform. The farmers aren't paid to care (for the most part) so they don't.

While in Ecuador in 2005 we visited a cocoa processor (Tulicorp) where we participated in a chocolate liquor tasting. One of the revelations of the tasting was that one of the best-tasting liquors came from CCN51 beans - that had been properly fermented. Fermented properly, it's possible to make some very decent chocolate using CCN51 beans. Certainly as good as anything made with Amelonado forastero from Western Africa.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Eric Durtschi
@eric-durtschi
12/07/08 05:23:01PM
38 posts
In case you haven't heard yet, there is a hacienda in Ecuador that is messing with a new way of processing the CCN-51. They are taking them and fermenting them with the pulp of the beans from "arriba". They hope to impart a little of the floral aspects to them. I have a bag of that arriving next week and can't wait to try it. I'll let you know what I think.
James Cary
@james-cary
12/07/08 08:27:13PM
32 posts
I've been wondering if anyone has been doing something like this.. Or even utilizing different strains of yeast, acetobacter to get new and different flavors.. Please do let us know what you find..
James Cary
@james-cary
12/08/08 01:15:22AM
32 posts
Thanks! This is fascinating. More stuff to research..It's really quite amazing how many of the variables in chocolate are still being explored.
Volker Lehmann
@volker-lehmann
12/13/08 02:54:38PM
4 posts
Here a reply I got lately from a colleague who visited me:Dr. Eduardo Somarriba de CATIE.Los estudios moleculares recientes (varios estudios de Juan Carlos Motamayor, MARS, y Claire Lanaud, CIRAD) demuestran que el cacao Nacional del Ecuador es un genotipo de Forastero que sali de la cuenca amaznica, cruz los andes y se asent en Ecuador y el sur de Colombia en la costa pacfica de ambos pases. El aslamiento geogrfico y el desarrollo de la actividad cacaotera en Ecuador durante el siglo 18 y la primera mitad del 19 dieron lugar al genotipo Nacional que conocemos hoy en da. Tambin sabemos que hoy en da el genotipo Nacional est muy mezclado con otros genotipos forasteros y trinitarios cultivados en forma masiva durante el siglo 20. No hay una relacin evidente en la parte gentica entre el Nacional ecuatoriano y los criollos mesoamericanos. Saludos. Eduardo.The Nacional from Bolivia of which Felchlin makes the Cru Sauvage from is the only cacao source known not mixed with other hybrids (maybe there are some more spots left in the Amazon). Both are very different just looking at the bean size. The Nacional here is 65 - 75 gr/100 beans.CCN-51 is getting a favorite hybrid in Bolivia in a new production zone as well. The problem with it is that under under very humid conditions the beans start germinating in the pot still looking not ripe from the outside. The yields are fantastic which is so convincing to farmers.By the way, Dagoba bought (maybe still buys) Ecuador chocolate from Felchlin.
Clay Gordon
@clay
12/14/08 02:53:49PM
1,680 posts
FYI - for those of you who don't read Spanish, here is a translation of the passage from Volker's post courtesy of translate.google.com. This is a machine translation and I have only made minor spelling changes (e.g., National to Nacional, creole to criollo, etc.).The recent molecular studies (several studies Motamayor Juan Carlos, MARS, and Claire Lanaud, CIRAD) show that the cocoa Nacional of Ecuador is a genotype of a Stranger who left the Amazon Basin, crossed the Andes and settled in Ecuador and south Colombia on the Pacific coast of both countries. The geographical isolation and the development of the cocoa business in Ecuador in the 18th century and the first half of the 19 resulted in the genotype Nacional we know today. We also know that today the Nacional genotype is very mixed with other genotypes outsiders and Trinitarios grown on a large scale during the 20th century. There is a clear link between genetics [of] the Nacional Ecuadorian the Mesoamerican and the Criollos.


--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Volker Lehmann
@volker-lehmann
12/14/08 05:27:21PM
4 posts
Hi Samantha:You are somehow the reason why I am in this forum. I am always looking for your contributions!Again, there is nothing wrong with CCN-51 well fermented. Next year there will be a Bolivian high-end organic chocolate in the market containing over 50% CCN-51 and as I have stated, it is a high yielding variety, with some difficulties to be familiar with. There are always two side of a coin. We go to the safe side promoting mixed varieties stands with 55% CCN-51 / ICS-95 / IMC - 67.Our company REPSA is participating in a world mapping project of "origins" to determine specific taste pattern.(I wonder how they are going to roast our small beans in a lab under standard procedure.)The project is called: COCOA OF EXCELLENCE (CoE) CELEBRATION 2009 directed by CIRAD and Event International (organizers of the Salon du Chocolat). Maybe we can pick up some credit in Paris next year.By the way. The discussion of quality and market shares has reached the next level and it is taken on by politicians and national promotion programs, dominated by Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia through the socialist movement. "cacao y libertad", give me a break. Viva Chocolate Boliviariano! The focus is now on who is the best and has the best "Nacional". Bolivia now wants a National Cacao Plan. The point is. There is more behind all this as you might think.Clay: The translation is ok (thanks) only a little, but important mistake:"There is NO clear link between genetics [of] the Nacional Ecuadorian the Mesoamerican and the Criollos."Cheers, Volker
Casey
@casey
01/03/09 12:10:53PM
54 posts
Thanks to all for the fascinating replies. Here is another link.http://www.ecuadorcocoaarriba.com/eng/index.phpIt may seem as though Ecuador chocolates should be called just that, Ecuadorian, instead of the oft used Arriba. Since this term has been used to signify just about any bean, and any flavor from Ecuador. It just seems like the fashionable label to slap on, and can further mislead the public. If we got nit-picky and somehow made them use this label only for that certain flavor, then its use as a flavor term could also lead to anyone who thinks they have a chocolate with that special jasmine taste, from anywhere, to say "We have an Arriba chocolate!" I can almost imagine every other jasmine noted chocolate being called "Arriba." There is probably no policing a thing like this, and so we'll just have to have another confusing term out there, most people don't know what it means, or there are many different versions of what it means.
Casey
@casey
01/03/09 12:14:07PM
54 posts
Thanks for the interesting quote and the tip about Dagoba.
Casey
@casey
01/03/09 12:23:39PM
54 posts
Thanks Sam.I'd like to add the link to your article from which you extracted your quotes. Had already read this before, and think the people following along here would find it interesting.And I'd also like to add in a quote from another interesting discussion around here. Alan McClure said in Reclassification of cacao varieties:Just adding to what Clay has said, there is a paper in a journal called Tropical Science from 2004, issue 44, pp. 23-27 that is called "The first Ecuadorean 'Nacional' Cocoa Collection Based on Organoleptic Characteristics."The paper is worth a look for those interested in the issue of Nacional. This is me paraphrasing the introduction:Nacional, which has an "Arriba" floral flavor, was so damaged by Crinipellis Pernicosa and Moniliophtora roreri that hybrids were brought in with high yields and low susceptibility to these diseases. These varieties hybridized with the remaining Nacional, eroding the Arriba flavor which is now virtually non-existent.
Lars Klassen
@lars-klassen
02/03/09 03:52:21AM
3 posts
Clay, Thanks for the translation, but it's important to note key error in last sentence: Dr. Somarriba's note in Spanish says that there is no, repeat no, evidence of a link between the genetics of the Ecuadorian (Cacao) Nacional and the Mesoamerican Criollos.
Lars Klassen
@lars-klassen
02/03/09 04:53:02AM
3 posts
I'm weighing in a bit late on this posting, because I stumbled across this site by accident while looking for info on molillo fungus.To some of the questions regarding cacao origin for chocolates, I can tell you that Caoni uses nacional processed by Tulicorp, which gets most of its beans from the south (Los Rios and Bolivar Provinces). Kallari gets its nacional beans from the northeast (Sucumbios). Pacari uses nacional beans as well, as does Dagoba. I do not know who processes the beans for Kallari and Pacari, but as far as I know, the only Ecuadorian outfit that turns out its own, labeled gourmet chocolate is Ecuatoriana de Chocolates, which does the Caoyere line of chocolates.As various commenters have noted here, "Arriba" is a much-abused adjective to the point where it's become almost meaningless. There was a time, I suspect when the terroir aspect gave the name a special significance as relates to origin in the reaches of the upper Guayas basin, but over time, those beans have just been mixed in with beans from everywhere else in the country. The big buyers, Kraft, Nestle, Berger are the lead culprits in this, and I shouldn't be surprised if they've thrown CCN51 stuff in with their containers of nacional, along the way.Still, amongst the Ecuadorian labels (I won't comment on non-Ecuadorian stuff), there's a trend toward regional appelation by Ecuadorian Province. Thus, you'll see Pacari, Caoni, and Caoyere products labled from Los Rios, Manabi, Esmeraldas, Bolivar, Pichincha, and Guayas Provinces, and then by percentage cacao mass.Some, but not all, of these same labels (including Plantations) use "Arriba" on their packaging, and to the extent that their beans legitimately come from Guayas, Bolivar or Los Rios Provinces (where the upper reaches of and tributaries to, the Guayas River extend), I suppose you could use the Arriba label. Still, in the most general sense, it's like the wild, wild west when it comes to use of adjectives like Arrible and Gran Cru, etc. on packaging; there's just no really generally accepted appelation protocol, so people say whatever they want on their wrappers.A couple of other observations while I'm passing through: As far as I know Plantations uses only CCN51 beans. Plantations is owned by the Crespo family out of Guayaquil, and to my knowledge, these folks grow only CCN51 and have done so since the 1980's. (CCN51 is a controversial variety, particularly from a flavor standpoint, and it's gotten almost political, in my view, so much so, in fact, that someone might consider writing an article on just why that is.)On fermentation and drying and post-harvest treatment in general, quality is erratic, to say the least. The smaller producers in particular have serious problems, but even larger outfits (that is, some cooperatives) have problems regarding humidity control, etc. Cacao and chocolate is tricky stuff, just like grapes and wine, and Ecuador's got a long way to go before it's a California or France in the chocolate sense...Anyway, you've a really nice site here, and I look forward to coming back and reading more here in the future!
Casey
@casey
02/05/09 09:35:46AM
54 posts
Thanks, fascinating -- another great addition to this discussion.
Lars Klassen
@lars-klassen
02/05/09 12:01:42PM
3 posts
Sure thing, Casey, going back over my comments, I see a couple of comments (which I did way too early in the morning): Arrible is Arriba, obviously. but no so obvious and more important is a very good Ecuadorian gourmet chocolate brand, which is Cacaoyere, not what I wrote above! L
Casey
@casey
04/14/09 09:31:27PM
54 posts
Here is another link of interest to those following the Arriba tales..This is portions of an article on chocolates of Ecuador from Cocoaroma magazinehttp://www.cocoaroma.com/chocolate/content/CROMAIssue2SampleArticleWeb.pdf
Brady
@brady
04/16/09 10:43:30PM
42 posts
I've often asked people about the attempts to plant Arriba outside of Ecuador. Some people say it can't be done. Not that the trees won't grow, but that they have failed in that the flavor profile is not the same. Speaking with a company rep at the 2008 Fancy Food Show in NY, Republica del Cacao has claimed that the ocean currents off the coast of Ecuador make a unique passage that in someway is not replicable anywhere else and therefore creates an environment that leads to this unique flavor of Ecuadorian Arriba. They actually had a binder at their booth with various photos, one of which was this diagram of global ocean currents. El Nino does create unique environmental changes along Peru and Ecuador. Could this go along one of the theories Samantha wrote in an earlier post in this discussion?Since this was also started as a general discussion about Ecuadorian chocolate I thought it would be interesting to list the companies that produce the chocolate in Ecuador. There are quite a few and my hopes is to hear from people who have tried these chocolates and can comment on flavor profile. It's been said that the Arriba flavor profile is almost non existent, but with so many companies in Ecuador, my hope is that some small Ecuadorian company might actually have access to some very interesting beans. For example, Bouga Cacao has a 77% bar labeled Hacienda Bosque de Oro. I had this bar and think it's the most obviously floral bar I've tried. I should add that those who tried it with me didn't really agree. However, I thought it was clearly lavendar and I'm not that good at picking up floral notes. I'd like to hear what people's impressions are or know of the following companies. Granted, some of these I only know the name. Not so sure these smaller companies even have a web site and unless you go to Ecuador you probably can't get them.VintageRepublica del CacaoCaoniChchukululuCacaoyereKallariPacariFloralChocolate del Castillo (not to be confused with El Castillo del Cacao of Nicaragua)San JoaquinVincesHoja VerdeBouga CacaoVere (not really an Ecuadorian company but the chocolate is processed at Tulicorp)At least five of these companies process at Tulicorp. It might also be interesting to know more about Tulicorp and where do the other companies process.
Jeff Stern
@jeff-stern
04/18/09 02:53:28PM
78 posts
I'll add my two cents on who's processing what. I live in Ecuador and have heard of most of these bars, and can tell you some about some of them.Vintage Plantations is produced by Ecuacocoa, and as far as I know is mostly if not 100% CCN-51 beans.Republica del Cacao is produced locally by Confiteca, a large Ecuadorian confectionery manufacturer. Have heard but have no evidence that they do not produce their own liquor, but they do have their own collection centers.Caoni-Made by Tulicorp, not one of my preferred products. Personally, the flavor profiles all the products I have tried from Tulicorp just do not seem to sit well with me.Cacaoyere-Ecuatoriana de Chocolates' label, I think this is primarily sold in Europe, not the US.Kallari-contract manufactured currently by Ecuatoriana de Chocolates, though that may be changing soon as allegedly Kallari is working to build its own plant. Though I'm not sure it's exactly necessary or the best idea from an investment standpoint... from what I know there is plenty of in-country production capacity and unless you're planning to go huge (by that I mean 50+ tons a year or more in production) over night, there's no need to invest in production facilities at this time.Have seen a few of the other brands mentioned locally, but haven't heard of all of them.As to the CCN-51 and Nacional issue, my local sources tell me farmers large and small are planting more and more CCN-51 variety of cacao because of its higheryields, making the Nacional variety increasingly scarce. Anecdotally, on my recent trips to both the Quevedo/Los Rios area of the country and north to the Esmeraldas area, it's easy to spot CCN-51 and it's what you see nearly everywhere you go from the roadside. Since Nacional yields less per hectare and needs more care, it should be recognized by receiving a higher price on the market, but it rarely does. This is a big, controversial issue inthe Ecuadorian cacao industry and in the commodities trade as well, and was one of the main points brought up last year at the closing of the World Cocoa Federation's annual meeting in Guayaquil that I attended.While both types might produce a very good quality chocolate, amongconnoisseurs and chocolate lovers in-the-know Nacional definitely has aspecial standing above CCN-51. There is a lot of CCN-51 and nacional beingmixed both before and after fermentation, and once its mixed its almost impossible to tell the difference visually-though I did talk to a few buyers on commercial patios who said they can recognize it if theres a high enough percent of CCN-51 in the mix of dried fermented beans. From what I know, to develop a good flavor profile with CCN-51, it needs to be fermented on its own and with different procedures from Nacional, otherwise you will get off flavors. I buy some chocolate produced locally which is a mix of CCN-51 and Nacional, and you can definitely tell the difference from a pure Nacional bar.It might be an exaggeration to say that Nacional is already becoming scarce,but if the alleged trend continues, this may well become true, and CCN-51 will become the primary bean Ecuador produces.
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
04/19/09 04:47:26AM
527 posts
Jeff;You sound very knowledgeable in Ecuadorian cacau.Last year I was sent 3 samples from one potential supplier - a Nacional, a "Taura", and a "Cone" Arriba bean. He indicated that the Taura and Cone were attempts by the local community to produce a cacau that would help rebuild the faltering arriba reputation as of late.Have you heard of "Taura" or "Cone"?I look forward to your reply.Brad Churchillwww.SoChoklat.com
Jeff Stern
@jeff-stern
04/19/09 10:10:58PM
78 posts
I looked into this and found that Transmar, one of the biggest purchasers of cacoa here and one of the biggest processors of semi-finished cocoa products in Ecuador (liquor, cake, etc.), and a major commodity house worldwide, is running a pilot project to provide traceability of beans in Ecuador for four european manufacturers who are unnamed. Taura and Cone are mentioned as two areas where they are sourcing beans from. For the full article text in Spanish, see here.My educated guess is that Transmar guarantees that cacao from these areas is pure "Arriba" flavor, or more strictly speaking, pure Nacional beans that have been properly handled during post-harvest. Since they are buying the beans in the pod, they have an extra level of control over quality, origin, and fermentation.(However, IMHO, there is a lot of mixing of CCN-51 and Nacional going on that is pretty hard to control given some of the idiosyncracies of Ecuador, and unless you have a very close relationship with your growers, it just can't be guaranteed that there is no CCN-51 in what may be called "pure" arriba/nacional beans. But another "however"-more and more commercial buyers in towns around cacao growing areas now buy cacao "en baba" or with the placenta, allowing them to control fermenting, origin, and to a much greater degree, quality. This also makes farmers happy since they get paid faster, rather than having to wait several days through the fermenting and drying process before they can sell their cacao.)Adhering strictly to the "Arriba" definition of "upriver" the beans Transmar is gathering for this projects would seem to qualify, as at least Taura, as found on google maps, is near the Guayas river, see link here, though not necessarily "upriver". I could not locate Cone, though the article indicates it's also in the Guayas province. It should be noted that the article does not mention "Arriba" but makes the point that the beans are Nacional and fine aroma quality.
updated by @jeff-stern: 09/07/15 01:45:51PM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
04/20/09 01:48:15AM
527 posts
Thanks for the summary. The gentleman was in fact from Transmar, and the beans were definitely properly fermented, even in size, and were in general pretty decent - at least until I roasted and processed the samples into chocolate.I did a very light roast, to ensure any high notes in the beans were not destroyed, and suprisingly found the resulting chocolate to be VERY flat and lack lustre in flavour - even moreso than some Ghana forasteros I've sampled in the past couple of years. In the end I was quite disappointed as I had heard so much about Ecuadorian Arriba, and the gentleman promoting the beans was very accommodating.I'll keep looking though, and keep my fingers crossed while I do.In the meantime, if you know of any plantations that have a good reputation, and would be interested in working one on one with a chocolate maker, by all means, have them get in touch with me, or even email me their contact info. I'd be happy to represent a good Ecuadorian cacau.Brad Churchill.
Jim2
@jim2
04/20/09 06:33:41PM
49 posts
I've been facinated by the production of cocoa beans in Ecuador. The "facts", as published within the net have left my head spinning. One recently consumed sourcehttp://www.ecuadorcocoaarriba.com/eng/about-cocoa-arriba-ecuador.phpdepict a series of numbers that make me want to move out of Brazil and into Ecuador....." Between 1880 and 1890 Ecuador was the prime producer of cocoa worldwide. In early 1900 Ecuador decreased the production because of different diseases as the escoba de bruja and la monilla, these devastating diseases almost destroyed all the plantations. Also World War I helped with the reduction of the exportations. In spite of that, the country kept working to keep one of its more precious treasures alive.Today the cocoa chain is the third more relevant after the bananas and flowers. The production in the year 2004 was of 111.000 metric tons and more than 100.000 small producers where involved, making a profit of almost 150 million dollars. Ecuador is the first producer worldwide of the quality and scent cocoa (63% of the worlds production "100,000 producers111,000 tons produced1.1 ton/ producerAnnual sales /producer US$ 2530Profit $US 150M profitMarket price today US$ 2300/ton X 111,000 Gross sales US$255,300,000Profit 65.2%Average producer ANNUAL gross profit US$ 1650 (US$2530 X 65.2% )Average Mo Income $ 137.00
Alex Gareiss
@alex-gareiss
05/06/09 10:44:19AM
3 posts
Hello everybody;I am joining in quite late, but I only found out yesterday about www.thechocolatlife.com because our company (Bouga CacaO) was quoted within this thread.Surely, the name arriba comes from its origin "up-river" of the river Guayas in contrast to the cocoa that was grown closer to the port of Guyaquil.Nowadays in Ecuador, there is no real difference made between Arriba and Nacional; it is rather used as "nacional arriba" fino y de aroma.Genetically there are probably thousands or even more different varieties of cocoa. Some of them being grouped as criollo or nacional etc. There is no exact definition in that respect.However, the Arriba taste is rather well defined though hard to find. The taste is definitely not associated to one special genotype. It is rather a combination of the "right" genes and the soil and climate which leads to a cocoa bean that has the potential of becoming the mother of a Arriba chocolate.Obviously the adequate post-harvest treatment is vital in order to develop the arriba flavour, as well as the further steps. For example, the Arriba flavours are much more volatile than others, so conching the chocolate too long will just lead to the complete loss of its special characteristics (I recently tasted a so-called Arriba chocolate with the "quality sign" of "conched 72 hours"; well I do not know how it was before, but there was nothing left from the Arriba).Concerning who is using what I can only say that it is most unlikely that all Arriba marked chocolate is made from Arriba beans (just in terms of quantity available). Especially for the chocolate companies producing in Europe or the US and buying from intermediators in Ecuador it is hard to get pure Arriba lots. However, there are some direct links between certain producers and growers.For the companies producing in Ecuador: They mostly buy from different producers (big and small-scale), so if they mention Arriba, they will mainly have to rely on their suppliers. Testing mixed lots is quite difficult.And there is at least one company who produces in Ecuador using cocoa from one single plantation where the cocoa grower oversees as well the production process (meaning tree to bar production!) who also uses only Nacional Arriba beans.However, the CCN 51 (also called Don Romero) can be transformed into absolutely high quality chocolate; combined with its higher yield and the lower sensibility against deseases, it is a real alternative; yet for marketing departments the Arriba mythos still seems to be too valuable. The flavour is different though and high cocoa pourcentage in chocolate would not be possible.One more statement concerning the typical Arriba flavour: I recently had a discussion with Michel Barel, a researcher from the French Institute CIRAD (Barel is respected by the cocoa/chocolate world in France for his knowledge about cocoa varieties). I told him that our Arriba chocolate is much more fruity than floral and that some French chocolatiers are complaining about it. He said, that meanwhile there were so many different Arriba varities available, that it is just normal that the flavours vary as well. Real quality does not depend on the existence of a jasmine flavour but is drawn from a coincidence of several characteristics: a distinct fruity or floral flavour, free of off-flavours and astringence!Another project that is going on and might be of interest: in Mndez, small village in the Southern Amazon region (Morona Santiago) exists a small-scale farmers association, that, with the help of the "Municipio", reintroduced Arriba species in their region (species that are the result of scientific trials and crossings going on in the coastal region), and defined 9 different types to be well adapted in their area and having good flavour. It is a project worth visiting and gives hope that Arriba won't be lost in future! Anybody interested in that project can contact us.I apologize for writing so much, but since I was rather joining late into the discussion , there was so much to say.
Jeff Stern
@jeff-stern
05/06/09 10:51:20AM
78 posts
Hi Alex:Seems you know quite a bit about chocolate from Ecuador. I would be interested in hearing more. I do happen to work with a grower who oversees production using beans from two plantations he runs using only Nacional Arriba beans as you say. You are very right though about the difficulty of getting pure "Arriba" lots. If you are interested in more info about my experience on the ground (I currently live in Ecuador) please do not hesitate to contact me.
Alex Gareiss
@alex-gareiss
05/07/09 02:43:26AM
3 posts
Hi Jeff;thanks for the compliment. We also have been living in Ecuador (Macas) for two years and a bit before founding Bouga CacaO. I just found out that you are making your own chocolate as well.I would be happy to know some more about your activities, especially as I think we got some partners in common...Actually we are going to travel to Ecuador for a couple of weeks in June and July - privately and with some clients... Our e-mail: info@bouga-cacao.com
Paul Mosca
@paul-mosca
05/29/09 12:58:56PM
18 posts
This was a awesome thread. Great detail folks. I am roasting some Arriba beans now. Or at least what I believe are Arriba beans. What are some of the flavor characteristics of the bean?
eminesh
@eminesh
06/09/09 06:19:00AM
2 posts
Declaration of Ecuador symbol product1. JustificationThe importance of the cocoa as one of the more relevant agriculture products in the production (2004 almost 111.000 tons), the exportation, jobs positions and income specially for the 100 000 small Ecuadorian producers, is a happy reality. Also the capacity of the country to be a producer of quality and scent cocoa -appreciated in the international markets- has not taken advantage of, on the contrary this image its being lost due to factors related to the quality offer diminished (defective post harvest, mixtures with the CCN51 clone, etc). Another reality is related with the low levels of productivity in the National cocoa plantations, which its decrease its due to the elderly age and the lack of management. These and other problems affect the competitiveness of the chain.These aspects have been discussed in several planning and analysis workshops of the cocoa value chain, promoted in the last months by groups such as ANECOCOA, UNOCACE, FEDECADE, PRONORTE, UDENOR, INIAP, CORPEI, IICA, FECD, GTZ, and one of the priority demands expressed by the assistants (more than 60), to face that situation a redefinition was made of a strategy and a politic to improve the competitiveness of the cocoa sub sector and the establishment of agreements and mechanisms for achieving its implementation.
Fernando Crespo
@fernando-crespo
08/24/09 12:22:49AM
4 posts
Hola a todos me gustaria aportar informacion sobre el cacao que represento, asociacion y como presidente de APROCAFA (asociacion de productores de cacao fino y de aroma) yo tengo mas o menos 22 aos cultivando este cacao que todos ustedes llaman como clon CCN51 y que ahora luego de haber hecho muchos trabajos de fermentacion se ha logrado quitarle las astringencia y asidez que tenia este cacao que es fino tambien por ser trinitario por concepto. No he podido leer todos los comentarios pero a algunas personas conosco en este forum y otros han estado en la hacienda (Rancho San Jacinto Naranjal) a la cual cuando alguno de ud vengan al Ecuador me gustaria invitarlos y mostrarles como se trabaja ese grano de cacao.Haciendo resumenes, si el problema que tenia el Ecuador era la mezcla de granos de cacao que por trabajos en conjunto con Corpei, Aprocafa, Anecacao y MAGAP controlar las mezclas.Sobre los chocolates el Vintage Plantations ERA hasta que fui parte de esa sociedad una mezcla de cacao Nacional 30% y Don Homero (CNN51) 70% pero la diferencia es que yo manejaba la fermentacion de esos 2 granos y la mezcla se hacia a nivel de licores. Hoy estoy haciendo un nuevo chocolate con el nombre de la hacienda y tambien private label y pongo a disposicion la pag web de la hacienda ww.rsanjacinto.com
Clay Gordon
@clay
08/24/09 10:24:40AM
1,680 posts
Translation in English provided by translate.google.com. It's not perfect and there are some words that weren't handled at all (might be the difference between European Spanish and Latin American Spanish).Hi all I would like to provide information on cocoa represent, association and as chairman of APROCAFA (association of producers of fine and flavor) I have more or less 22 years to grow this cocoa as you all call and now CCN51 clone after having made many works of fermentation has been achieved remove the astringency and asidez who had this fine cocoa which is also being Trinitarian by concept. I could not read all the comments but some people conosco in this forum and others have been at the ranch (Rancho San Jacinto Naranjal) to which if any of you come to Ecuador would like to invite you and show me how to work the cocoa bean .Making summaries, if the problem you had in Ecuador was the mixture of cocoa beans that work in conjunction with Corpei, Aprocafa, MAGAP ANECACAO and control mixtures.About the Vintage Plantations Chocolates ERA until that company was part of a mixture of cocoa and 30% National Don Homer (CNN51) 70% but the difference is that I handled the fermentation of these 2 grains and the mixture is to level liquors. Today I am making a new chocolate with the name of the estate and also private label and make available the web pag finances ww.rsanjacinto.com


--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
08/24/09 02:05:44PM
1,680 posts

This is a photo of the front entrance to the Rancho San Jacinto. I visited there in October 2005. Across the street is (or was) a roadside stand where you could get fresh cacao pulp smoothies and warm pan de yucca con queso (cheese bread made from yucca (cassava) flour).


--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
María Soledad Troya
@mara-soledad-troya
02/07/10 11:06:53PM
6 posts
Casey:I think the traditional importers of cacao arriba started business many years before CCN51 appeared. They are for a long time used to the characteristic flavor and aromas of arriba, i dont think they would ever change or be cheated about it. Plus they have an educated consumer who p for that quality.In the laws of Ecuador, there are prohibitions to mix the CNN51 with arriba or Nacional.Arriba strictly talking, only grows in a defined geographical area of Ecuador, arriba, means up the river, in the surroundings of the Guayas an Babahoyo rivers, in higher elevations, than other lower land cocoas. Nacional, in the other side is the term that embodies all the forasteros considered to be fine in Ecuador.Both Nacional an Arriba are forasteros.In the last century, about a hundred years ago, the plagues almost killed the arriba varietals and many cocoa varietals were introduced to strenght the original arriba cocoa. These other cocoa from Venezuela, Trinidad, etc gave the original arriba the power to survive the plagues, but the main character arriba prevailed through the years. Our actual arriba got some criollo and trinitario features.For some especialistas the arriba original variety still exists pure just in a 10% of the whole fine cocoa in Ecuador.Definetibelly I think the cocoa and chocolate conosseurs buy the best national and arriba cocoa, while the CCN51 is internally and externally of lower consideration. It just does not attain any of the real characteristics of fine cocoa.There is a need to protect the arriba origin, and there is a project in Ecuador led by official, and private organizations to legalize the arriba in the frame of the Ecuador laws under the origin denomination (denominacin de orgen) .That is for now, there is a lot more to talk about arriba....Mara Soledad Troya
Annmarie Kostyk
@annmarie-kostyk
04/05/10 05:52:42PM
15 posts
This is so interesting. I always thought these beans were really just aversion of Trinitario and were no longer around. The few bars that I've come across out there made me wonder. I thought perhaps some genius crossed the Trinitario and Criollo and tried to make a new hybrid. It just goes to show you that you never know. Mother nature is funny.
María Soledad Troya
@mara-soledad-troya
04/06/10 12:04:48PM
6 posts
Yes, itis amazing, but something that surprized me the most was the fact that there are some theories that imply that there are many more types of cocoa than we initially thought. This comes out of a serious genetic study .Check it out in the following link.http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003311#aff4The conclusions are:Should cacao be reclassified from the traditional 3 (Forastero,Criollo, Trinitario) into the 10 categories suggested in the researchstudy *Geographic and Genetic Population Differentiation of theAmazonian Chocolate Tree.The suggested new categories are:1.Amelonado Brazil2. Contamana - Peru3.Criollo - Central America, Venezuela4.Columbia5.Curaray - Ecuador6. Guiana - Guyane7.Iquitos - Peru8.Maraon - Brazil (Amazon) and Peru9.Nacional - Ecuador10.Nanay - Peru11. Purs PeruThe arriba cacao from Ecuador, is a a type of Nacional
Annmarie Kostyk
@annmarie-kostyk
04/06/10 12:13:26PM
15 posts
Very interesting. I'm going to go to the link and read more. What a breakthrough. This could mean so much for the world of chocolate! Please keep me informed as you find more information. I would appreciate it.
Paul Mosca
@paul-mosca
04/06/10 02:16:22PM
18 posts
It would be cool to see Figure 1 of this study on Google Map.
María Soledad Troya
@mara-soledad-troya
04/06/10 06:35:14PM
6 posts
Yea, what a neat and clear panorama of the cacaos . It certainly revolutionizes the traditional view in terms of varieties. The idea of the google map is great. I think we are talking about many maps, if we want more detail, many maps put together.
Casey
@casey
04/06/10 07:36:44PM
54 posts
Here are a couple of other fascinating discussions around here for more information about reclassification of cacao varieties, in this one we are pointing out different things about cacao of Ecuador.http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/1978963:Topic:4592http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/cacao-info-resources
Paul Mosca
@paul-mosca
04/06/10 10:24:43PM
18 posts
I wonder what the scientific community thinks about this study. There maybe a study that deals in more detail with the location. I could see making maps of the varieties in such a way that the work as layers.
Clay Gordon
@clay
04/07/10 09:10:38AM
1,680 posts
What many people may not realize is that two of the current names used to describe cacao varieties (criollo, forastero) are examples of how the victors write history.Criollo means, roughly, native (e.g., comida tipica criolla), and forastero, roughly, foreign. In the context of cacao, criollo means "from here" and forastero means "imported from elsewhere" and are therefore quite meaningless when talking about varieties of cacao as the "native" (as in, original varieties) are the foreign ones - as there is now consensus that criollo varieties were selectively bred from forasteros as the Mesoamericans (the Toltecs and Olmecs) found uses for the seeds where South American Indian tribes focused on uses for the pulp.Criollo and forastero are just as confusing as the term "arriba" which only means "up" (also, over, above, forward) and refers to where traders had to go ("up" the Guayas river from Guayaquil) to get the fine flavor cacao best known as Nacional.Over time these generic terms were applied to specific varieties of cacao without paying any attention to their original meanings.Motamayor's study is perhaps the first serious attempt to try to rationalize the naming scheme. However, I find it interesting that with the exception of "criollo" and "amelonado" all of the suggested new names refer to specific places. Amelonado is a reference to the shape of a pod - melon-shaped - of a specific variety of forastero originating in Brasil. It is likely that criollo varieties in Venezuela were almost certainly re-introduced from Mesoamerica.Ultimately, I don't see that there will be much uptake of these terms outside of the academic/scientific community - and perhaps hard-core enthusiast community - any time soon. Too much marketing and advertising has been done around the existing terms to make the transition easy. Plus, with an increasing emphasis on origins it's going to be hard to differentiate (meaningfully) between, for example, Nacional and Curaray; both are from Ecuador and Curaray is an obscure river south of the Napa in the Oriente.I think more people would understand and appreciate the distinction between "heirloom" (e.g., Nacional) and "hybrid" (e.g., CCN 51) cacao varieties.


--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Pierrick marie Chouard
@pierrick-marie-chouard
04/07/10 09:44:15AM
5 posts
Hello Casey;I just became a member on chocolate life Upon receiving an email form a friend mentioning there was comments on our chocolate" Vintage Plantations" which were not true. Comments posted by lars Klassen .Vintage Plantations is not owned by the Crespo family. Vintage Plantations does not say " Arriba" on its bars.We do not use cocoa beans from the Crespo family. We partnered with this family in Ecuador, in order to have a collection point for our nacional cocoa beans coming from the Luz y Guia Cooperatives and la Florida cooperatives. The Crespo family could not collect enough cocoa beans from the cooperatives and we started to use a mix of CCn51 with the nacional. It appears The Crespo family goals diverged very quickly with our goal. and we no longer work with this family. As klars Klassen says, we work with small farms group of 12-15 families growing exclusively old "nacional antigua" Not the new nacional. ( another pandora Box). Upon trying many different model for sourcing only the old varietals from Ecuador , we have concluded , considering the constant hybridations of cocoa genotypes, that it was more accurate to talk about the Location and how it was fermented. The company is owned by Allan Suarez, and Pierrick Chouard by the way. We started sourcing cacao in Ecuador upon visiting Alaln suarez extended Family in the barrios of Guayaquil and bringing them clothes and others ustensiles from the USA. We have been Teaching about cacao post harvest process in Ecuador with my college friends from CIRAD. I Hope it dispells the misunderstanding. On a personal note: very good Chocolate was made using very mediocre Cocoa beans: When I launched Michel Cluizel chocolates in the USA , prior to pursuing my sustainable goals with Vintage Plantations chocolates, we sourced cocoa beans from a family in Dominican republic. This family benefited from students from Holland who were doing their PHD's on Post harvest process. Upon meeting these students and tinkering with their system, it appears they had excellent results, which were fully exploited by Michel Cluizel into a Good chocolate bar. My point ; The discussion of origins or genotypes is not a guarantee of quality in chocolate. and using "origins" as a marketing tool is premature until there is an independant international Audit controlling and certfiying : the entire commodity chain. We are a long way away from the wine and I am not sure this is the way to go. I would recommend: against making your choice of buying chocolates according to origins, or genotypes today.The Word" arriba" Is not on our chocolate bars precisely for these reasons.
updated by @pierrick-marie-chouard: 09/07/15 02:07:45PM
Cristian Melo
@cristian-melo
04/23/10 04:59:33PM
9 posts
FYI, Cone and Taura are located in the region that was known as "Abajo" back in the good old days (according to Parsons 1957). Most people ignore that there used to be a regional classification by 1920's, so you had cacao de Bahia, de Esmeraldas, Arriba, etc. Each variety had its own 'bouquet.' For example, there is one account that says that the cacao de Bahia (Bahia de Caraques, not the the Bahia from Brasil) was especial because they used to wet the beans with sea water at the port (!!). Also, I would think that we should start thinking in following Motomayor et al. 2008, which offers a really nice genetic classification of cacao by origin.
 / 2
 

Tags

Member Marketplace


Activity

Xocol855
 
@xocol855 • 3 months ago
Created a new forum topic:
slaviolette
 
@slaviolette • last year • comments: 0
Created a new discussion "Cost of goods produced":
"Hi Everyone, Been a long time member but I have not been in in a few years, the fact is that I had to close down my small chocolate business.. but now is..."
chocolatelover123
 
@chocolatelover123 • 2 years ago • comments: 0
Created a new forum topic:
New Chocolate Brand - "Palette"
Marita Lores
 
Marita Lores
 
Vercruysse Geert
 
Vercruysse Geert