By Jody Hayden, Grocers Daughter
One of the things I enjoy most at Grocer's Daughter Chocolate is sharing the story of cacao and chocolate with our customers. Even though many of us have enjoyed chocolate in some form or another since childhood, many don't know that it is derived from cacao, a pod-shaped tropical fruit bursting with sweet, tart flavor.
Just like most agricultural products, the flavors we experience in cacao and the resulting chocolate can vary widely depending on genetics of the cacao, the microbiome of the fermentation area, and the amount of sunlight and rainfall each tree receives.
These days we're experiencing an exciting renaissance in cacao and chocolate that conjures the days of the Mayans and other Mesoamericans who had very sophisticated preferences and preparations of cacao, mostly in the form of foamed beverages. Like these ancient gourmands, chocolate lovers are once again beginning to appreciate (and seek out) cacao and chocolate that celebrates the nuanced flavors of this incredibly complex food.
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