Nicaragua produces a spectrum of exquisite flavours that can be unlocked by experimenting with fermentation, drying and chocolate development. Here at Argencove we have been sourcing and testing many of the geographical regions to understand the flavour potential for a number of years.
The availability and range of flavour is not surprising as Nicaragua has been recognised by International Cocoa Organisation ICCO as being a producer of fine flavour cacao.
We harvest ripe cacao pods from October to July of each year. Great care must be taken to open the pods to extract the beans shortly after the harvesting. A clock is ticking from the moment you cut the cacao pod from the tree.
Once the cacao pod is opened we can identify the quality of the cacao bean in the form of ‘wet mass’. This is one of the most important quality control points and can affect the fermentation time and end flavour of the cacao and chocolate. Pictured is an example of premium quality wet mass.
The chemical composition of the cacao beans changes over the process which can be visually identified over the days, verified by pH and tracked via temperature changes within the timber boxes.
Once optimal fermentation has been achieved our cacao it is then transferred on to drying racks where it is gently sun dried over the first few days. The fermentation process is still actually taking place during the initial stages of drying. Thus it is important to allow for this complete process as it can impact the final flavour of the cacao.
Through our warehouse registry we ensure full and clear traceability between the beans and the source allowing us to reproduce flavour profiles that our customers enjoy. Our cacao is stored according to industry practices.