HCP Heirloom Cacao 9
Nacional cacao, Piedra de Plata, Ecuador
Provided by To’ak
Discover Heirloom Designated Cacao Farming in Ecuador
To’ak was born from a rainforest conservation project in the famed cacao-growing region of coastal Ecuador. It was here that one of To’ak’s co-founders began cultivating cacao trees and making chocolate in a thatched bamboo house secluded in the middle of the forest, dating back to 2007. After years of honing his passion, he linked up with his fellow co-founders to create To’ak Chocolate. They use one of the world’s rarest and most prized cacao varieties to create extremely limited editions of single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate, from tree-to-bar.
To’ak sources its cacao from a small group of growers in the valley of Piedra de Plata, who are paid 200-700% above the local farmgate price. With the help of genetic testing of old-growth cacao trees in Piedra de Plata, sponsored by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, To’ak identified some of the last surviving Ancient Nacional cacao trees in Ecuador. To’ak then joined forces with its rainforest conservation partner, Third Millennium Alliance, to create a “Genetic Bank” of endangered cacao. Together they planted a parcel of 100% pure Ancient Nacional cacao trees in a protected forest preserve in Ecuador. The progeny of these trees will be distributed to other local cacao growers throughout the region, in an effort to pull this legendary cacao variety back from the brink of extinction. To’ak chocolate is proudly produced entirely in Ecuador—the native origin of cacao.
Ecuadorean chocolate made from Heirloom designated farms
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The Panelists found the flavor of the chocolate made from these Ecuadorian beans presented a dark, rich, full-bodied color depth. The blend of dark fruit, deep molasses, and oaky notes were particularly captivating.
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