CHARACTERISTICS: evolving (dormant trees being revitalized)

Starting around 1880 the British brought over cacáo from colonial Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) of mixed genetic heritage.

More hybrids were introduced in 1987 by the World Bank’s cacáo funding project. These later types originated in Samoa & Malaysia. Today the Fijian islands cultivate mostly Amelonado.

Tom Ohito Zukoshi of Adi Chocolate spearheads an effort here to guide planters in revitalizing their decades-old cacáo groves.

His better post-harvest methods take 4-5 days: cutting, extraction, & fermentation in small boxes (excluding sun drying under vinyl roofing which takes even longer). Most growers dislike that because it requires extra work for the same money they receive for unfermented slaty beans that indiscriminate exporters buy up by the shiploads.

When any beans will do, growers cut corners to expedite the process. So most of the product ends up in Mars candy bars.


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