QCOSTARICA — Costa Rican cocoa is positioned as one of the best in the world, entering the top 50 in the international competition “Cacao of Excellence 2023” held on October 31 in Rome, Italy.
Chocolatera del Volcán, located in Upala, Alajuela, stood out in this edition by facing 222 samples from 52 different origins around the world.
“Having been selected among the 50 best cocoas in the world fills us with pride and great satisfaction. It is very useful for the future of the small farmer, especially in Costa Rica where the costs associated with production are very high compared to the other protagonists of the sector. cocoa market. For us it is very important that the added value of quality and organic management be recognized so that it can be profitable to grow cocoa in Costa Rica, which although it is something historical has been lost and until a few years ago it is being recovered. Thank you to the institutions that also helped, PROCOMER, the Ministry of Agriculture, which are on the right path to improve the situation in agriculture,” said Marco Corsetti, founder of Chocolatera del Volcán.
His farm is located north of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano and has 18,000 Trinitario cocoa trees of select genetics, to be able to harvest cocoa with a strong aroma and flavor for high-quality production.
Since 2020, it has been certified as entirely organic and is distinguished by producing 100% artisanal, organic and biodynamic cocoa and chocolate.
This company was one of the four brands that represented the country in the international contest, after passing an evaluation of more than 25 exhibitors from all the cocoa regions of Costa Rica.
“This contest represents a strategic opportunity for trend analysis, process standardization, quality improvement and global positioning of Costa Rican cocoa, in specialized market niches. In Costa Rica, producers have been preparing and properly managing the post-harvest, promoting quality and diversity of flavors, achieving an international position as a producer of fine cocoa. This is demonstrated with this result,” said Fernando Vargas, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).
The results of the Cacao of Excellence were determined by judges with extensive experience in the world of cocoa, who carried out an evaluation of the physical quality of the product.
The process included the evaluation of whole and cut beans, as well as a detailed sensory evaluation of the cocoa liquor, where aspects such as appearance, aroma, flavor in beans and in liquor, among other key characteristics, were analyzed.
All of this was carried out under a strict protocol established in the renowned “Guide for the Evaluation of Cocoa Quality and Flavor.”
Highlighting producers who have demonstrated excellence in management, both before and after the harvest of cocoa trees, is the objective of the contest that has been held since 2009.
The 50 best cocoas will go to the next stage where they will be processed into dark chocolate following the same recipe, to later be evaluated by a distinguished jury of professionals and determine the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
Winners will be announced at the Cacao of Excellence Awards Ceremony on February 8, 2024, in Chocoa, Amsterdam, Netherlands.