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REGION AND COUNTRY
Chiang Mai and Lam Phun Provinces, Northern Thailand
Thailand’s cacao history is relatively recent, with cacao having been introduced from Malaysia more than 100 years ago. In the fifties, the government invested in cacao to promote it as an export crop. However, after the mid 1990’s farmers started replacing cacao with other more commercially valuable crops.
Cacao has been making a comeback ever since, with several initiatives from local chocolate makers to increase local production for their processing needs. One of these brands is MarkRin Chocolate, a family-led business which not only produces high end chocolate and semi processed cacao products at their factory in Chiang Mai, but does so using cacao from one single hybrid developed by its owner and co-founder, Dr. San La-Ongrsi.
Dr. San La-Ongrsi was an Associate Professor at the Horticultural Department of Maejo University for more than thirty years. During this period, he conducted extensive research on cacao and bred a hybrid which was perfectly suited to the growing conditions in Chiang Mai. He named the hybrid I.M.1 after his children: Mark and Irin. Together with his wife, Mrs. Kanokked La-ongsri, post harvesting protocols for this specific hybrid were extensively tested and developed.
Nowadays, most I.M.1 is grown in an intercropping system by more than 2000 farmers in 75 of the 77 provinces throughout Thailand. Cacao represents a stable source of income for these producers who grow it along other cash crops like bananas, coconut, longan, rambutan, lychee and rubber.
Daarnhouwer is very proud to have partnered with MarkRin to bring you a new flavour in our broad palette of cacao origins. Our very first shipment comes from 10 farmers who grow cacao exclusively on their plots in an organic manner and who are distributed in the Chiang Mai and Lam Phun provinces.
Due to its very unique characteristics, the cacao hybrid developed by Dr. Sanh La-Ongsri, can be harvested all year round.
I.M.1: a hybrid between an ICS variety from Peru and Criollo and Amelonado varieties from the Philippines.
POST HARVESTING PROCESS
Cacao collected from the farmers is brought to a centralized post-harvesting center. Fermentation is done in wooden boxes for an average of 7 days. Drying is done on average in 3 days. After drying, beans are sorted manually.
Medium body with a pleasant citrus acidity; notes of citrus (grapefruit & orange) and tropical yellow fruit (pineapple), orange blossoms, caramel and roasted almonds.