COCOA POWDER ORGANIC
The cocoa tree, native to the fertile forests of South America, is known not only for its unique flavour, but also for its therapeutic and nutritional properties. Its Latin name - Theobroma - literally means 'food of the gods'. Cocoa powder is made from the beans of this tree.
Cocoa was first harvested by the Olmecs in Mexico as early as 1000 BC. At that time it was mainly used for fortifying drinks. Over the years, the Mayas and the Aztecs adopted this use in their cultures. Cocoa became part of ceremonial rituals and cocoa beans were a means of payment. It was not until the 16the century that the Spanish took cocoa to Europe. They added sugar and cinnamon and heated the drink before consuming it. The demand for cocoa began to grow and so plantations were set up to satisfy it. Today, chocolate is once again in the spotlight of researchers. They look into the healthy properties of one of our favourite foods and regularly come up with new revelations.
There are 3 common varieties of the cocoa plant: Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario. Until the 18e century most plantations had Criollo beans. However, nowadays mainly the Forastero is harvested in large quantities as the Criollo bean is much more susceptible to diseases. The Criollo beans, however, are of a much better quality and connoisseurs look for this variety specifically. We are proud to say that 80% of our cocoa powder consists of this delicious and unique bean.
Criollo cocoa trees produce soft red or yellow pods with a thin shell. A pod contains 20 to 50 beans with a pale purple exterior and a white interior.
Our cocoa powder comes from a fair trade supplier in Peru. He selects the best cocoa beans from the best farmers in the country. The tree flowers all year round and therefore has no specific harvesting period, but the pods need 5 to 6 months to fully ripen. Originally the trees grow up to 15 metres high, but the planted trees used for cocoa production are manually kept smaller to facilitate harvesting. Farmers use knives on sticks to carefully cut the pods one by one. The pods are then opened by hand to extract the beans and the pulp. The beans are then given four days to ferment, which gives them their unique flavour.
The beans are moved from crate to crate in order to get enough fresh air and to ferment properly. Then they are dried in the sun on plates where they turn reddish brown. The beans now lose moisture and become less bitter. The humidity of the beans is closely monitored, so that mould has no chance.
On arrival at the factory the beans are carefully washed and lightly roasted for 45 minutes. The special taste comes out even more and the hard skin comes off. The husks are removed and what remains are pieces of cocoa. These pieces are ground to a paste which is called cacao liquor. The paste is pressed so that the fats can be further used as cacao butter. What remains is a solid cocoa cake, which is the basis of cocoa powder.
Our beans are not exposed to pesticides or other unnatural substances during the entire process and are therefore purely organic.
The healthy properties of cocoa go way back in history, where cultures centuries ago already gratefully used. Today, nutritionists are investigating the many benefits of cocoa, especially the so-called flavonoids. A Cornell University study concluded that cocoa contains twice as many antioxidants as red wine and 3 times more than green tea.
Our organic cocoa powder is in its purest form. Because we do not overproduce or artificially add sugars, it still contains all the nutritional values that it naturally does. A versatile ingredient, which can be used with hot milk and natural sweeteners, but is also very tasty and healthy with other superfoods in a smoothie.