The growers’ association behind this Mexican origin is named Organización de Productores de Cacao Sostenible Rayén, founded in 2016 and located in Soconusco, Chiapas, one of the world’s oldest cacao growing regions.
Close to them you can find the archeological site of Paso de la Amada on the Pacific Coast in Soconusco, where ceramic vessels containing residues from the preparation of cacao beverages show that chocolate was consumed by the Mokaya, one of the earliest sedentary villagers in Mesoamerica, as early as 1900 BC. The Mayans and Aztecs held this cacao origin in high esteem and Soconusco cacao was preferred and sponsored by the royal household in Spain throughout the Colonial period, granting it the title “Cacao Real de Soconusco” (Royal Cacao from Soconusco). Today it is still one of the main cacao production centers of modern Mexico, second only to the Chontalpa region in the state of Tabasco.
The core “group” of the organization consists of around 30 members. Born originally as part of a research project of the University of Chiapas and with the current support of Euro-American Cacao Company, the organization is devoted to the rescue of the heirloom varieties of cacao under threat by the introduction of highly productive and pest-resistant plant clonal material imported from abroad. They do so by researching the varieties already present in their orchards (with trees that can be over a hundred years old) and by propagating the ones displaying the best heirloom criollo properties.
Cacao for them is part of a polyculture: in the cacao orchards you can find side by side other fruits such as mamey, lemon, coconuts, pineapples, mangoes and timber-yielding trees (the shade trees of the cacaos) like ceibas and cedars along with tropical flowers such as hibiscus, ginger or heliconias. Cacao is organically grown, however not certified yet due to the high cost of such certifications.
Bean Origin: Chiapas, Mexico
Ingredients Used: 3 - Cocoa Bean, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Cane Sugar
Organic: No, direct trade
Cocoa Content: 70%
Cacao Variety: Criollo/Trinatario
Weight: 1.8 oz
Allergy Information: Possible traces of dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat
Tasting Notes: Sweet, floral, nutty, citrus