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Region and Country
Baracoa, Guantánamo, Northeast Cuba
Cacao was introduced at the beginning of the 19th century by French colonists who fled from the revolution of independence in Haiti. They started growing coffee and cacao on the island. The breeds introduced are thought to have originated from the Atlantic coast of Mesoamerica.
This cacao comes from the area of Baracoa in the Guantánamo province in the Northeast of Cuba. Baracoa lies on the Bay of Honey (Bahía de Miel) and is surrounded by a wide mountain range (including the Sierra del Purial), which causes it to be quite isolated. Baracoa is nowadays not only a cacao growing region but it is also Cuba’s main chocolate manufacturing area.
Production peaks are between December and January and July and August.
The hybrids which are grown today are still the same that were grown before the introduction of the communist regime in 1965. Cacao is collected from small farmers who cultivate small plots where banana and coconut is also harvested.
Fermentation takes place in horizontal wooden boxes during seven days. The beans are dried for a period of 5 to 6 days.
This Cuban cacao is medium bodied with a light acidity and medium bitterness, containing flavors of wood (royal palm & mahogany), tobacco, cream and nuts.