Jacob Marlin’s growing 100% pure Criollo cacao in the Belize rainforest. The Criollo varietal evolved in Central America from cacao that originated on the northwest Andean coast of South America. The Olmec people domesticated and developed this strain for low bitterness and low acidity. Criollos tend to have strong fruit and nut flavors, and this one is very caramelly.
Many chocolate makers claim that their cacao is Criollo, and their claims are partially accurate. These usually contain perhaps 30%, occasionally up to 70% of the Criollo genetics. Genetically-validated pure Criollo has only been identified in two locations, and BFREE in Belize is one of them. Jacob created the BFREE Belize farm by grafting material from local wild trees.
BFREE’s pure Croillo has been designated as HCP Heirloom no. 11, and there isn’t a lot available. Jacob sent us samples with three different fermentation methods, and we’ll be making each identically, so we can compare. The bars will be available when all three batches are finished and aged.
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