Chocolate From Colombia

Written by BK Shaw
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Many are familiar with Colombian coffee because it is known as the best in the world. However, Colombia also produces some of the finest chocolate in the world. In fact, Colombia is ranked in the top ten countries that produce chocolate. The most treasured type of chocolate from Colombia comes from the Andean mountains of Yariguies. This chocolate has a subtle, yet delectable flavor. This amazing chocolate is a result of the distinctive geographical location and agricultural conditions of the region.

Producing Chocolate from Colombia

Chocolate from Colombia begins with cocoa pods that are hand harvested with scissors and forks. These pods are found in bright colors of oranges, yellows, violets, and reds. They are split open with machetes, sorted, and then left to ferment in wooden boxes. After this process is complete, the pods are placed on wooden boards and are left to dry in the sun. This tedious and traditional process generates the unique flavor of Colombian chocolate.

Colombian chocolate is made from the Forastero varieties of cocoa pods. Forastero pods constitute 80 to 90 percent of chocolate production world-wide. They can also be found in other South American countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Guyana. This pod variety may be found in Southeast Asia, West Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast as well. Forastero pods are characterized as bitter, highly aromatic, and tannic. Their flavor has limited varieties and is comparable to robusta coffee.

The first attempts to grow cocoa in Colombia began in the early 19th century. Chocolate was reserved for the rich at this time. The first cocoa plantations resided in Antioquia, most notably in the Cauca province. By the late 19th century, approximately 6,000 tons of cocoa were produced each year in Colombia. By 1918, chocolate was popular among the masses. It's estimated that the average Colombian family consumed two pounds of chocolate per month. Today, Colombian chocolate is enjoyed by many different cultures, all over the world.


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