CACAO NIBS AND ITS TRADITIONAL PROCESS
Harvested less than 100 km from our Collection Center in Vinces, the Nacional Cacao of the Los Ríos province has a fruit known internationally for its intense flavor and aroma. Thanks to the geographical conditions and the vast biological resources that Ecuador has, this cocoa has great organoleptic qualities. In our Collection Center, a fascinating traditional process that rescues the aromatic profile that characterizes our Cacao Nibs begins.
The first step of this traditional process is the fermentation of the cocoa, which lasts 4 days. During this time, the mucilage that covers the grain decomposes and contributes a series of aromatic attributes, which will be revealed in the next stage. Our fermentation process is monitored by our experts in the Collection Center, thus ensuring the right procedure in the different fermentation stages.
The next step is the natural drying process, in which the cocoa is exposed to the sun and heat, thus reducing its internal humidity percentage from 60% to 7%. In our Collection Center, we carry out this process on guadua canopies given this material retains heat in an even way. The movement of the cocoa beans in this process is essential, to have a homogeneous drying. These constant movements of the grain are carried out with the help of a bay shovel which is gentle with the grain and prevents them from sticking together.
Once the sun drying process is complete, the dry cocoa bean is transported to our production plant located in Quito, where the roasting process begins. In this stage, the development of aromas is guaranteed, keeping exact control on the temperatures is crucial so that the bean does not burn, but manages to reduce the intensity flavor of a raw cocoa. Once the bean is roasted, it is husked and crushed, obtaining the cocoa nibs with pure flavor notes that enhance the organoleptic characteristics of the Fine Flavor Nacional Cacao harvested by our allied farmers in Los Ríos.
Our Cacao Nibs are used by chefs around the world due to the great nutritional and organoleptic properties extracted through our traditional process. The uses of Cacao Nibs vary from providing aroma and a crispy texture to different elaborations, for different bean-to-bar projects, and also for salty preparations such as sauces, purees, soups or as toppings.
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