TYPE: High grade Criollo
AVERAGE bean weight: 1.20 grams
"It is all about the Chuao´s people, they have been producing cacao in the same way for 446 years."
Chuao cacao is a hybrid trinitario with high levels of criollo genetics, typically up to 30%.
The cacao cultivated in Chuao is hybrid of pure Criollo (a very special variety of the creole-type cocoa), cacao Carupano and cacao Caucagua (other varieties grown in Chuao, Aragua state).
Fermented on location, the process begins shortly after cutting down the pods. The beans are stored in wooden tanks, covered with banana leaves and left to ferment for seven days.
Drying is achieved by the sun right on the village church’s parvis called the Plaza de Secado.
Farmers spread the fermented beans carefully over the various sections of the square for up to two weeks, moving or turning them each day to gradually less coarse parts of the yard to ensure the beans are dried.
After they are dried the beans are loaded into a tombola shaped machine, which separates the beans into three sizes and funnels them into baskets.
The trees from Chuao are genetically comparable to cacao trees in neighboring plantations along the Caribbean coast, but due to several factors the beans have a distinctive and unique aroma, like jam. Actually, villagers dig irrigation streams using the sources of water that flows down from the surrounding mountains behind the valley. Sediment from the river fertilize the trees, bathing them in rich minerals which impart that Chuao difference.
Legend states that Chuao has something in the soil, a unique combination of minerals. In truth, the secret of Chuao beans is attributed as much to inherited methods of growth, fermentation and drying, as it is to the crop and microclimate.
Chuao is a fishing town located on the north-central coast of Venezuela. It is surrounded by the mountain and the dense rainforest of the Henri Pittier National Park, the oldest national park in Venezuela. There is no road access and visitors must come by boat from Puerto Colombia or by food from Turmero, Maracay.
The production of cacao beans in Chuao is about 20 tons each year. Around the harvesting periods beans become available. Stay in contact with us to update you about availability.