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Macambo

Source: Direct trade

Region: Northern Jungle

Department: San Martín

Elevation: 400-1000m

Yearly Rainfall: ~2100 mm (83 inches)

Genetics: Theobroma bicolor

Harvest Season: Mar - May

Tasting Notes: Macadamia and cashew flavours; hints of toasted almonds.

Fermentation Style: Not fermented.

Drying Style: Peeled when wet then sun dried.

Theobroma bicolor, more colloquially known as macambo or majambo (or jaguar in Mexico), is the “cousin” of cacao. High in fibre, protein, healthy fats, and a great source of the alkaloid theobromine, it is the newest superfood discovery from the tropical depths of the Amazonian jungle.

Macambo is still quite rare in Peru (from a commercialization standpoint) and will likely stay this way as it seems to only thrive when it is not surrounded by other macambo trees—any attempt to cultivate larger plantations have fallen ill to various plagues. And, unlike cacao (Theobroma cacao), macambo pods fall to the ground when ripe. For these two reasons, it needs to be gathered from wild harvests or from the odd few trees a farmer may have. The macambo beans then need to be manually peeled shortly after collection, while still wet, because if their shells dry they become very difficult to peel (or winnow). Therefore their beans are not fermented, just sun dried.

This particular macambo is obtained via direct trade with various artisanal communities in the region of Chazuta in the San Martín department who work together to collect, peel, and dry the macambo beans.

Thanks to these communities, you’re getting the very best of a bean with a flavour profile that resembles more of a nut than cacao, yet still acts like cacao when processed into chocolate. One thing to note is that macambo’s fat content is usually in the 35-40% range, so additional fat (cacao butter) should be added when processing into a bar.

 

1kg boxes available in our shop. For any other volumes, please contact us.

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