June 23, 2017 – The Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund (HCP) announced to the NYC Media in a private tasting event that the cacao trees of BFREE Demonstration Cacao Farm, Belize,  San Jose de Bocay, Nicaragua and Pham Thanh Cong, Mekong Delta, Vietnam have been designated HEIRLOOM. They become, respectively, the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth HCP Heirloom designations made since the 2014 inaugural Heirlooms. The full chocolate samples from these beans are in very short supply so we were very happy we had enough available to hold this private tasting for the media.

The HCP thanks Hasty and Jacques Torres of ChocoStory, The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres for generously hosting our East Coast tasting event.

The HCP’s International Tasting Panel loves the smooth, mild chocolate flavor with a lightly roasted nut base reminding them of macadamia nuts of the Belize Heirloom. The flavor of Nicaragua cacao is an immediate burst of a fresh fruit salad– begins with a evanescent brown fruit (dates, figs) then shifts to a red fruit and mixed tropical fruit character with ripe plums, berries, red currant accompanied by a fruit bowl of mango, apricot and pineapple. For the Vietnam heirloom there is a coconut note accompanied by a dried fruit and spice character that is cinnamon and cardamom—its spice character combined with the dried and browned fruit is reminiscent of tonka beans with its additional saffron and bitter almond.

The HCP not only recognizes the great taste of well produced cacao but aids in the stability of the farmers themselves and the neighborhoods they occupy. Viable sustainability is essential to the quality of life for all those involved in the cacao production process and the future of their local environments.