2017 Chocolate Project: Peru Marañon


Rare Cocoa Project: Peru Marañon

After a demanding holiday season, I decided to change things up a bit for the new year.  My focus for 2016 was to grow the business and the brand of Ohiyo Chocolate, and that was successful.  In fact, it was a little too successful -- I sold out well before Christmas.  And even sold my back stock that was planned for January to hold me over until I get a new shipment of cocoa beans.

This is a great problem to have, but it made me acknowledge my limitations as a one man craft chocolate maker.  I can only make so much chocolate.

So, I’m going to put every ounce of effort into making the best damn chocolate I can.  This will mean that I don’t make as much, and that’s not easy for me to accept, but for now that will have to be ok.

I decided to start this project with a new single origin bar made from Peru Marañon cacao, often referred to as the rarest cocoa in the world.  It was only discovered in 2009 growing near the Marañon River in Peru.  And has been hard to find due to limited supply and a tightly controlled release by the founders.

The Marañon plantation is unlike any other cocoa plantation in the world.  To start, the cocoa trees are growing at an altitude 1,500 feet higher than thought possible.  If that wasn’t bizarre enough, a shockingly high percent, roughly 40%, of the cocoa beans are white instead of the usual dark purple.  This is a genetic variation that leads scientists to believe that this plantation has been undisturbed for hundreds of years.

White cocoa beans tend to be less bitter and lend a delicate floral quality to the resulting chocolate.

These white cocoa beans lead experts to believe that they were of the Nacional variety.  However, genetic testing proved that they were in fact 100% pure Nacional.  This was a bit of a surprise since Nacional is otherwise only grown in Ecuador, and there is no pure Nacional cacao left.

So, you can see my excitement!  I managed to get a small amount of this very limited, genetically pure heirloom variety of cacao.   And I get to offer it to the awesome people that have been supporting Ohiyo Chocolate.

This means I can’t screw it up.  I will be taking extra time to dial in my process for this individual cocoa to get this chocolate perfect.  

If this sparked your interest, you can enter your email below to get updates on when this chocolate will be released.