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Chocolate Rediscovered In Peru

Chocolate once thought to be extinct in Peru has been rediscovered.

A variety of the plant Cacao , the plant used to make chocolate called Pure Nacional has been rediscovered in Peru.The chocolate thats fruit and floral flavors that once dominated the worldwide chocolate market was pretty much entirely wiped out within three years and considered lost when diseases plagued the Pure Nacional population in Ecuador resulting in 95% of the trees being destroyed.

Just recently, The United States Department of Agriculture confirmed the amazing rediscovery of the once forgotten chocolate. In 2007, Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley discovered cacao trees growing on small farms in a remote canyon in Peru’s Maranon Canyon while they were sourcing fruit in the same area. They grew curious about football-shaped pods filled with white and purple beans and sent samples to the USDA for testing who then confirmed these were indeed chocolate plants.


“The international cacao database has 5,300 entries. None are Pure Nacional with white beans. Cacao pods with 40% and 100% white Pure Nacional beans are an unprecedented discovery,” said Meinhardt.

The most amazing part about this discovery is the uniqueness of these particular plants. The high canyon walls in the Maranon Canyon create a unique climate for the trees that thrive at the highest altitudes ever reporter for cacao( between 3,500 and 4,100 feet).

With the help of specialists and ongoing testing, the rare beans are now being processed and being backed by Maranon Chocolate, which was founded after the discovery. They are being produced for the public by Swiss chocolate maker and will be present at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City on January 11,2011 for the launch of the chocolate!

SOURCE: The Institute of Culinary Education

Photo Credits : André Karwath aka AKa /

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