HCP Heirloom Cacao 5

la Asociación de Productores Agropecuarios Artesanal Nueva Esperanza (ASOANE),
Puerto Quito, Ecuador

Provided by Barbara Wilson & Jose Meza, Mindo Chocolate Makers

Designated 2014

Discover Heirloom Designated Cacao Farming in Ecuador

la Asociación de Productores Agropecuarios Artesanal Nueva Esperanza (ASOANE) is an association of 25 producers of artisanal agriculture located in Puerto Quito, Ecuador.  Cacao farming arrived to this region over 75 years ago with Nacional cacao brought in from the neighboring Los Rios Province –known not only for its complex flavor profile but its cohabitation with other plants and trees that promote habitats for midge pollinators, birds, and other animals.

Jose Meza and Barbara Wilson, of Mindo Chocolate Makers, work with the ASOANE farmers and provided the beans for submission of their Nacional variety cacao beans for Heirloom designation. Mindo is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker that spans two countries, two continents, over 3,000 miles, and a community they believe includes anyone and everyone who comes into contact with their raw ingredients and finished products. To learn more about their story and how Mindo came to be, visit their website at https://mindochocolate.com.

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Learn About the HCP Nursery Projects

In 2018, ASOANE was awarded an HCP grant funded by the Lesley Family Foundation to support the preservation of their heirloom designated cacao.  ASOANE evaluated their heirloom trees based on productivity, flavor and genetics and selected 9 trees for clonal propagation through grafting in their new nursery. With the support of HCP and the local municipality, ASOANE is now building new fermentation and drying infrastructure to assure the highest quality of heirloom Nacional cacao, bringing better prices and markets for ASOANE’s farmers.

To read the most recent program report, contact HCP Executive Director, Anne Zaczek at info@hcpcacao.org

Check out ‘Save Fine Flavor Chocolate’ by the HCP Fund on Google ‘One Today’

While the majority of cacao tree producers are increasing the production of flavorless high-yielding chocolate for mass produced chocolate bars (containing high levels of sugar and added artificial flavors), HCP is striving to preserve the rich biodiversity of cacao trees in Ecuador. These Heirloom trees make balanced, unique, fine flavor chocolate possible for future generations to experience.

Ecuadorean chocolate made from Heirloom designated farms

Mindo Chocolate Makers uses the Nacional beans designated Heirloom by the HCP from a cooperative of organic farmers in Ecuador about 30 miles outside of Mindo and a second farm in El Quetzalde Mindo.

Tasting Panel Notes

The International Tasting Panel had high praise for the beans’ processing and found the chocolate made from them had rich and complex, but balanced caramel and nutty notes, followed by complex fruit and astringent notes with a long-lasting, velvety chocolate finish.

USDA Genetic Profile for cacao beans from Ecuador cacao farm trees

Heirloom cacao genetics

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