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From Farm to Ceremonial Grade Cacao Paste

by Georgia & Elyse on July 02, 2022

Deep within the Amazonian Region of Tarapoto, in the San Martin Province of Northern Peru grows the sacred single origin criollo cacao bean in its wild habitat.

Untouched by man, with no interference of chemicals or pesticides, instead with reverence, love and right relationship with Sophia Gaia our Mother Earth - as intended.

Conscious sacred keepers of this land, wander and nurture the fruit pods as they grow with intention, wishes and prayers. This is a sacred practice which forms part of the differentiation of ceremonial grade cacao to regular farmed cacao.

We are humbled and honoured to offer a truly certified organic cacao paste. This certification is of the highest standard, is difficult to obtain and is audited stringently yearly ensuring a long list of requirements are upheld. So special, and so, so sacred. 

When we take a look at history, the Inca, Quenchua, Olmec and Mayan civilizations consumed cacao as a sacred elixir to commemorate momentous occasions, such as, officiating a marriage, the crossing over of a loved one to the other side or an important birthday. This tradition is found to date back as far as 3,000 years ago.

 

Let's take a look at the cacao process

 woman under cacao tree in peru farming pods

 

The cacao tree requires the shade of typically larger trees in order to keep the soil on the forest floor humid and rich in nutrients.

The correct conditions of shade and sunlight means constant upkeep of careful pruning of trees. Too much sunlight will dry the soil, and too little sunlight will promote fungi and parasite growth. 

The secret to great cacao is the correct balance of all and of course lots and lots of love and care from the growers too!

The cacao beans are remove from the inside of the cacao fruit pod which contains both the beans and white sweet pulp by hand.

The beans along with the sweet white pulp are then left to ferment in wooden crates for 3-5 days.

After fermentation is complete, the beans are then sun-dried in the intense heat. When the beans are dry and have reached a perfected flavour state they are ready to be husked.

From Beans to Nibs

Once sun dried, the beans are selected, cleaned from twigs, stones and any other possible impurity, and go through a dehydrator. They are then passed to a winnowing stage where a strong current of hot air that blows away the shells and recovers fragmented cacao beans, known as nibs. Cacao nibs are the fragments of the husked cacao bean, containing all the nutrients and beneficial properties of this ancestral super-food - how neat!

The second state on the production process is the grinding of the Cacao nibs to produce a thick chocolate like paste. The nibs contain approximately 50% of natural fat, so this is how a thick paste is possible. Once cooled, the Cacao paste becomes solid and has the appearance and taste of rich dark and hard chocolate.

Did you know you can try to make cacao paste at home by grinding your own nibs in a coffee grinder? You will be able to see this magical process with your own eyes! 

This rich dark hardened cacao block is exactly the same as the cacao bean. Roughly half is cacao butter (fat) and half are cacao solids. This is chocolate in it's most purest form 100%! 

Ancient civilizations boiled water and added cacao paste to create the sacred elixir xocolatl adding spices that include pepper, chilli and vanilla.

At home, you may wish to create your own sacred elixir by adding whatever your heart desires. 

We particularly enjoy adding Lions Mane (mushrooms), Jing, rose water, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and a thick rich plant mylk.

 Love

Georgia + Elyse

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