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Chulucanas

Source: Co-operative

Region: Northwest coast, hot semi-arid climate

Department: Piura

Elevation: 100-400m

Yearly Rainfall: ~1800mm (72 inches)

Genetics: Native Piura Criollos

Harvest Season: Feb - May (major); Sept - Nov (minor)

Tasting Notes: Intense; red fruits; citric notes. Notes of pollen and honey. Low tannins.

Fermentation Style: 6-7 days in Tornillo hardwood boxes; daily bean rotation after first 2 days.

Drying Style: 6-8 days – Sun then shade dried. On tarps and mesh drying shelves.

Like Piura White, Salitral, and Chililique, the Chulucanas bean comes from the coastal department of Piura, a region detailed in ancient Spanish documents as a source for premium cacao. But cacao is a tropical plant, so how did cacao even get to the coast? And what does that mean for the perceived origins of cacao?

Through carbon-14 testing done on pottery discovered in 5,000+ year-old burial sites, scientists were able to confirm that the world’s first traces of cacao domestication came from the Mayo-Chinchipe-Marañón region. That, along with Spondylus and Strombus seashells found in the pottery and jewellery in these burial sites further suggested that these Amazonian cultures were likely the first to commercialize it.

It’s precisely this discovery, made only in the last couple of decades, that has led to a major disambiguation supported by well-known researchers, like Dr. Evert Thomas and Dr. Juan Motamayor, and Bioversity International: that cacao did not originate in Central America, but in the Amazon basin.

The newly-accepted theory is now that the Mayo-Chinchipe-Marañón cultures traversed the shallowest point in the Andes, called El Paso de Porculla, and engaged in trade with coastal communities—who evidently had great irrigation techniques and farming knowhow because they helped cacao thrive in these tough growing conditions. And those coastal communities, in turn, engaged in naval trade with other faraway communities leading to cacao’s migration north into Central America and then onto the Caribbean, Africa, and

Southeast Asia. 

 

So, thanks to the Mayo-Chinchipe-Marañón cultures, the Piura department accessed cacao. Thanks to the coastal communities, cacao now grows in the arid to subtropical lands of Piura. And thanks to Piura, you can now experience Chulucanas’ citric and red fruit flavours with notes of pollen and honey, and medium acidity with little tannins. A premium cacao mix of Native Piura Criollos with roughly 25% white beans that are harvested at low altitudes and have a high probability of making your chocolate taste incredible.

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