In general, there are three distinct varieties of cocoa tree:
– Forastero (yellow cocoa beans). This kind represents around 70% of the world’s production. It grows almost everywhere in the world, but mainly in Western Africa. Its cocoa is not very aromatic and, therefore, not very widely used for the production of fine chocolates.
– Criollo (red cocoa beans). Criollo is a cocoa variety originating from Belize and maybe related to the first cocoa trees grown by the ancient Mayans more than 2,000 years ago. It grows only in Latin America and represents a mere 5% of world production of cocoa. This variety is very susceptible to diseases and its cultivation is very difficult. It is highly valued by producers of chocolate for its unique taste.
– Trinitario (a hybrid of the Forastero and Criollo varieties). This hybrid partially contains the taste quality of Criollo and at the same time it is resistant to diseases like Forastero. In Chocotopia plantations in the Yucatan region of Mexico, we grow cocoa trees of the Criollo variety, because we prefer quality to quantity and we want to ensure the sustainability of our production.
Although the cultivation of cocoa is widespread, its worldwide production is endangered. Experts argue that a cocoa shortage may occur by 2050. How is it possible? On the one hand, there is the fragility of cocoa trees, climate change and the pressure on the industry to produce constantly lower prices, on the other hand, the chocolate consumption has increased considerably in Asia, especially in India.
Hint: Eat good quality chocolate to benefit your health as well as our planet! AtChocotopia we care about the environment and the conditions in which our Mexican farmers live. Good natural quality and diligent care of those who work for us, is our recipe for good quality chocolate.