Tropical Paradise

Tropical Paradise
"Tropical Paradise", watercolor, by Roye Jan Myers

Saturday, May 26, 2012

About Our Flagship Chocolate -- Fortunato No. 4

                                  The World's Rarest Chocolate

Fortunato No. 4, the rarest chocolate in the world. In a remote Marañón River Canyon of Peru, mother nature or an ancient civilization has hidden this chocolate treasure. For centuries these trees, growing in an isolated micro-climate at twice the normal altitude, have been creating beans with flavors which no one has ever tasted.......Until Now.

These recently discovered trees had ancestral relatives, which once grew on the flat plains near the Pacific Ocean, in Ecuador.  The natives called these all dark brown beans, Pure Nacional. In the 1820's a Swiss chocolate maker discovered these remarkable beans and took them to Europe and America. Within a decade, chocolate made from Pure Nacional beans, dominated the gourmet chocolate market in Europe and the US. The chocolate was famous for the aromas and flavors of delicate flowers and fruits. Suddenly diseases struck the trees and by 1919, Pure Nacional chocolate disappeared.

Nearly 100 years later, these thought-to-be-extinct trees were rediscovered, near where the Marañón River forms the headwaters of the mighty Amazon River.  During the centuries of growing in isolation, these rare beans evolved. To the amazement of the scientists, pure white beans are now growing in the same pods with the dark brown beans. This creates an entirely new flavor profile. The pure white beans add a nutty flavor to the traditional flower and fruit flavors, which had made the chocolate famous, nearly 100 years ago.

The United States Department of Agriculture performed genetic testing of these trees and reported, “This Pure Nacional variety is genetically identical to its Ecuadorian ancestors. However, the white beans growing in the same pods with the dark brown beans is an unprecedented discovery. This combination of Pure Nacional beans exists nowhere else on the planet.” 

The limited number of trees grow on small farms in this remote canyon, which has no infrastructure.  Once harvested, the beans are brought out by foot, by burro and by motorcycle to a location within this Marañón Canyon. There the beans are fermented and dried with a special process developed to protect these rare delicate aromas and flavors.

The Pure Nacional white and dark brown beans then travel to Switzerland, where old world chocolate machines built in 1879, make the chocolate. These ancient machines protect the delicate nut, flower and fruit flavors, as they slowly turn the beans into the chocolate, you hold in your hands.

The chocolate is named after Don Fortunato, the farmer where the purest trees were found. Enjoy the  aromas and flavors of the rarest chocolate in the world, which no one has ever tasted....... Until Now.

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