Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico 70%
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Gold Medal winner in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2023
Silver Medal winner in the 2020 Academy of Chocolate International Awards
In Soconusco, Southern Mexico there’s a dedicated group of farmers rediscovering and rescuing near-forgotten, heirloom varieties of cacao. Their exceptional efforts result in a beautifully balanced chocolate that is simultaneously confident, mysterious and comforting.
While Soconusco Region, Chiapas, Mexico delivers a contrast of fruity tang and warm, silky nuttiness, it’s simply the cacao’s origin talking – plus organic cane sugar and our obsession for preserving the flavours of provenance.
And because your senses are unique, you may discover characters and aromas others may not – that’s the magic of Foundry Chocolate.
From the 2022 vintage. Please note the batch number you receive will differ from the one pictured.
Ingredients: Cacao Beans & Organic Cane Sugar. No added cacao butter, lecithin or vanilla.
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan and 100% Plant Based.
The import of these beans into New Zealand was the result of nearly a years worth of coordination between several NZ craft chocolate makers. It's believed these beans represented almost 1% of the total cacao exports from Mexico in 2019, and that this is also the first time cacao beans have been imported direct from Mexico into New Zealand.
Our Chiapanecan origin comes from Soconusco, an important growing region since Aztec times. Soconusco is located in the southwest corner of the Chiapas region, bordering Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean.
The cacao is from a cooperative named Organización de Productores de Cacao Sostenible Rayén. Founded in 2016, the core Rayén “group” consists of 28 members owning 50 heactares of cacao trees.
With the help of Euro-American Cacao Company, they are devoted to the rescue of the heirloom varieties of local cacao under threat by the introduction of highly productive and pest-resistant “clones” as is the case in most cacao growing countries. They do so by researching the varieties already present in their lots (which can be over a hundred years old) and by propagating the best among them.
The cacao is grown as a polyculture: in the cacao orchards you can find other fruits such as mamey, lemon, coconuts, pineapples, mangoes; timber-yielding trees (shade trees of the cacaos) like ceibas and cedars and tropical flowers, among them hibiscus, ginger and heliconias.
Rayén's cacaos genetics could be described as a mixture of criollos and trinitarios (“trinitarios acriollados” as they call them), the beans when fresh are predominantly white and pink and the shape of the pods have the typical shape of Mexican heirloom varieties: corrugated skin and the typical "lizard" tail. There are dozens of different colors and pod shape combinations.