Cacao Beans - Venezuela
For decades, Casa Franceschi has worked in the area of Barlovento, supporting producers to develop quality cacaos. Located in the North Central region of Venezuela, Barlovento is the 3rd most productive cacao area in the country. Well-known by the Asian market, this cacao keeps calling the attention of many chocolatiers by its genetics. In addition to the commercial relationship we provide, we support producers with the best agricultural and modern practices to maintain their farms productive and away from diseases.
For many years Casa Franceschi has been working in the area of Sur del Lago, support- ing producers in the improvement of their crops. Located in the Southwest of the country, this is the most agricultural (and productive) area of Venezuela; It’s where most of the crops (potato, onions, yucca, carrots, Plantains) are produced. In the field of cacao, Sur del Lago represents the second most productive area in Venezuela, surpassing Carenero in the last years. It is also well known by the presence of an interesting percentage of criollo blood in the beans.
Sur del Lago is considered as one of the most recent cacao development in the country, comparing with other areas. It was one of the most important areas to develop and one of the first ones we chose to apply all our knowledge obtained in Rio Caribe.
With the support of Governmental and non-Governmental organizations, we put in practice new projects and activated others that were created but abandoned, making the necessary arrangements to adapt them into this area.
SUR DEL LAGO
The North East coast of Venezuela was the place that opened the arms to Franceschi family 187 years ago.
This area is the most productive in the whole country, accounting with 50% of the country’s production. This is due to two reasons: From one side to the extension of cacao in this area, and the different projects applied to increase production from the other. One of them, and maybe the best known is Proyecto Paria, (lead by Alberto Francechi). This project began as a social development that later on was modified to a cacao project, increasing the production of Rio Caribe by 50%. Given the success of it, Proyecto Paria has been replicated in different cacao areas nationwide, obtaining positive result as well.
RIO CARIBE SUPERIOR
Back in the days, all the cacaos harvested in this whole area used to be sold as one single origin. Its name goes after the port that producers and exporters used to send the beans overseas. Canoabo used to be called The Criollo of the area. Later in the years, with the technological develop ment, the areas were segregated in Trincheras, Puerto Cabello, Mantuano, Patanemo, and Canoabo mainly.
Even though they are located in the same area (Parque Henry Pittier) each cacao offers different aromas and sabores. As we have provided with technology and best agricultural practices to Patanemo and Trincheras, Casa Franceschi has also supported this small area.
Well known by its thermal waters, this small valley is located up in the mountains, between Carabobo State and the coast in the North Central region; very close from Patanemo.
In its beginnings Trincheras was a single family Farm where coffee have been produced up in the mountains while cacao was found close to the villages. After the years, this area was segregated into small farms and cooperatives. However this area still shows the ruins of the cacao fermentation areas made of clay, and the water channels used to bring down the coffee from the mountains.
Surrounded by mountains and beautiful beaches, Patanemo is one of the many valleys in the coast where exceptional cacaos are harvested. This valley is located in The North Coastal region of Venezuela, and along with other cacaos that we could find in the same area, they are located inside a National Park called Henry Pittier. With approximately 2000 habitants, Patanemo has the perfect conditions to harvest cacao.
Since its beginnings in the early 1600’s, this town (led by a ethnic group of 60 people) was dedicated to the cacao harvest.
Even though Casa Franceschi has always been aware of the different varieties throughout the country, the family felt inspired to explore deeply in these areas. This is why in the last 10+ years CF has invested time to this area and its surroundings. The first time we visited Patanemo, we found a cacao with a limited production but outstanding characteristics, ideal to be well known worldwide and be offered to the best chocolatiers.
Some chocolatiers have visited this area and have fallen in love of this cacao and its people.
The whole valley of Ocumare is surrounded by many big and small cacao plantations. Ocumare is located in Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. This park extends throughout the whole North central region, rewarding us with varieties such as Chuao, Choroni, Cuyagua in Aragua State, and Trincheras, Puerto Cabello, and Patanemo (among others) in Carabobo State. Some stories say this cacao has been used in different countries to create clones and new varieties, due to its excellent ﬂavors.
Given its great quality and organoleptic characteristics, one of Ocumare’s special origins is used in Chocolate Franceschi.
Having a low level of fermentation, you can easily taste the differences in ﬂavors, mainly noticed in a strong acidity, bitterness and green/raw. However it keeps the strong taste of cacao and fruits.