Peru is located on South America’s Pacific coast. It spans 1,285,220 km² and its capital is Lima. It witnessed the birth and disappearance of the great Inca Empire. For many years it fell under Spanish conquest. Peruvians have the most flourishing economy in Latin America, and cocoa was discovered there in 1495. This economy depends mainly on its natural resources. Mining in particular, because of the presence of many precious metals in its subsoil: gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, etc. Its diverse climate also allows it to farm a wide variety of products: corn, cotton, rice, tropical fruits, cocoa, etc. The Pacific Ocean also benefits the Peruvian fishing economy. Tourism is also a big industry, because the country’s history has given it a legacy of many tourist sites. Many nature reserves house much of the world’s biodiversity, and also benefit the Peruvian economy.
The cocoa tree is grown in tropical countries. This tree produces about one hundred pods a year. These pods are used to produce cocoa, and subsequently to manufacture chocolate. Cocoa trees were discovered in Latin America, and Peru is one of the main growing countries. The cocoa tree is grown for commercial purposes. There are three varieties.
The one that grows in Peru is called criollo and comes from Venezuela. These criollos make up the finest and most sought after cocoa. Yet, its production does not exceed 5 to 10% of global demand. Generally, the pod picked from criollo trees has an elongated and pointed shape. The cocoa obtained has a sweet aroma, a delicate taste, and no bitterness. Cocoa from Peru is also organic and cultivated on old coca fields. In order to substitute coca crops, producers have turned to organic farming as well as fair trade. Like all cocoa crops, Peru’s are harvested during the dry season.
Peruvian cocoa in the chocolate market
The Criollo Pod
Peru has become the leading producer of organic criollo cocoa since 1997. Peru’s main agricultural products are sugar, potatoes, rice, bananas, and cocoa. These are all products for exporting. Otherwise, silver, iron ore, phosphates, and oil are among its natural resources, in addition to agricultural commodities. Peruvian cocoa is used to make many chocolates. In addition to the organic chocolates produced by ALTER ECO Bio and Equitable are ones manufactured by Berton chocolate factory and Lindt master chocolatiers.
Cocoa from Peru has a new value on the market with the particular care and the organic label that the producers bring to it.