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Chocolate Thought to Be Extinct Rediscovered in Peru

Copio mensaje del Sr. José Mejía con excelente noticia para el sector cacaotero del Perú


Estimados amigos,

Abajo les paso una noticia que esta circulando en Europa el día de hoy. Han descubierto una variedad de cacao supuestamente perdida en el Valle del Marañon, el Puro Nacional. El estudio comprueba que las plantas son originarias o indígenas de Peru, no hubo introducciones de otros lugares, esto puede afirmar que Peru es centro de origen primario del CACAO. Excelente noticia para el CACAO PERUANO….

Aprovecho para desearles una FELIZ NAVIDAD 2010 y que la pasen compañía de sus seres queridos y amigos. Un abrazo.

Saludos cordiales,

José Mejía

Source AP Alert - Business, (EAJE), 20 December 2010.
Text STK
Chocolate Thought to Be Extinct Rediscovered in Peru
NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Pure Nacional, a variety of
cacao, the plant used to make chocolate, that was once thought to be
extinct, has been rediscovered in Peru. Pure Nacional, with its
complex fruit and floral flavors, once dominated the fine chocolate
market worldwide. In 1916, diseases struck the Pure Nacional
population in Ecuador and within three years 95% of the trees were
destroyed. The prized chocolate was thought to be lost, until now. The
chocolate has been rediscovered growing in Peru. The United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA), the world's foremost genetics
laboratory for the DNA testing of cacao, confirmed this discovery and
after two years of hard work chocolate is being produced from these
precious plants.
Late in 2007, Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley were sourcing fruit in
Peru's Maranon Canyon when they discovered cacao trees growing on
small isolated farms in a remote horseshoe-shaped canyon surrounded by
6,000-feet canyon walls. The trees were growing football-shaped pods
filled with a rare mix of 40% white beans and 60% purple beans in the
same pods, or in some cases, the pods were completely filled with
white beans. Familiar with only purple beans, they were curious about
the rare white beans and sent leaf samples to the USDA for testing.
"When they called with genetic test results and asked, 'Are you
sitting down?' I knew we had found something special, " said Pearson.
Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt, Lead Researcher and Dr. Dapeng Zhang, Lead
Geneticist from the USDA Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory in
Beltsville, Maryland, analyzed the genetic structure of the beans and
found that they were Pure Nacional plants native to Peru. "The
international cacao database has 5,300 entries. None are Pure Nacional
with white beans. Cacao pods with 40% and 100% white Pure Nacional
beans are an unprecedented discovery, " said Meinhardt. They tested
random leaf samples from various trees throughout the Maranon Canyon
and confirmed that the Pure Nacional plants were growing throughout
the valley. Dapeng said, "We are excited about this confirmation. It
means that these cacao trees were indigenous to Peru. They are not
exotic introductions from somewhere else."
The high canyon walls in the Maranon Canyon created a unique
microclimate for the trees. The trees thrive at some of the highest
altitudes ever reported for cacao, between 3,500 and 4,100 feet.
Horsley lives with the farmers and worked with them to turn the unique
cacao into chocolate. The beans needed to be transported first by
foot, then burro, then motorcycle and finally by all-terrain vehicle.
Horsley said, "The small farmers and I had to learn quality practices
together. White beans must be fermented and dried differently than
purple beans, but it is unknowable in advance which is which, " said
Horsley. After two years, several site visits by fermenting and drying
specialists, independent laboratory testing and 81 fermenting and
drying trials, they found the answers to processing the rare beans and
founded Maranon Chocolate to offer their exclusive product to chefs
and consumers.
Pearson traveled to Switzerland to have the beans made into
one-of-a-kind chocolate by a renowned Swiss chocolate maker who found
the white beans added a nutty flavor to the Nacional fruit and flora
profile. The chocolate maker was recommended by Franz Ziegler of
Ziegler Consulting and Paul Edward of Chef Rubber. Ziegler is an
award-winning author and was named Pastry Chef of the Year in 2008 by
the World Pastry Team Championship, where he has served as head judge
since 2006. Ziegler and his colleague Paul Edward of Chef Rubber said,
"In our combined 50 years of working with chocolate, we have never
tasted flavors like this. We had to experience this ourselves, so we
both traveled to Peru, met the farm families, saw the trees, the white
beans, the genetics tests and then watched the next evolution in
post-harvest processing that they developed. We saw the past and the
future of chocolate."
The team will assemble at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in
New York City on January 11, 2011 to announce the launch of the
chocolate. ICE Chef Instructor Michelle Tampakis, a respected
chocolate expert who was named one of Dessert Professional'sTop Ten
Pastry Chefs for 2010, will be on hand with Ziegler, to guide a
tasting of the unique flavor profile of this precious chocolate.
Pearson, Meinhardt and Edward will present the story of the discovery
of the chocolate in their own words and discuss the road to bringing
this chocolate back from extinction. Pearson said, "The rediscovery of
Pure Nacional and the first ever discovery of white beans in this pure
thought-to-be-extinct variety opens peoples eyes. However, it is the
remarkable delicate flavors, aromas and unique tastes that open the
hearts of those who are passionate about chocolate."
For more stories of discovering Pure Nacional, visit
About Maranon Chocolate
Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley and their Peruvian family members have
been working in Peru since 2002. While sourcing fruit in the remote
Maranon Canyon, they saw pods resembling small footballs growing from
the trunks of trees. Told that the beans inside are used to make
chocolate and curious about the 40% white beans, Pearson sent leaf
samples to the USDA lab for testing and confirmed the beans were Pure
Nacional. Now they make these rare beans into their signature
Fortunato No.4 chocolate, named after the farmer who owned the land
where the trees were first discovered. Pearson runs U.S. operations,
while Horsley runs operations in Peru, living with his wife and
daughter with the farmers in the canyon. They pay premium pricing and
a percentage of the profits to the farmers, being sure the farmers
receive a fair price for their work cultivating this rare and precious
cacao. For more information, please visit
About ICE
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE@) is New York City's
award-winning center for culinary education. Founded in 1975 by Peter
Kump, the school offers highly regarded 8- to 12-month career training
programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry
and Hospitality Management. With an intensive curriculum, dedicated
Chef Instructors, a strong record in externship placements and a clear
entrepreneurial focus, ICE is widely regarded as a great pathway to
begin or continue a culinary career. ICE also runs one of the largest
programs of hands-on recreational cooking classes and wine education
courses in the country, with more than 26,000 enthusiasts taking any
of the 1,500 classes offered each year. In 2008, ICE was named the
International Association of Culinary Professionals' (IACP) Culinary
School of the Year and a School of Distinction by the ACCSCT in 2006.
ICE's 42,000 square-foot facility is open seven days and nights a
week, 350 days a year and is located at 50 W. 23rd Street, New York,
NY 10010. More information can be found at
SOURCE The Institute of Culinary Education
-0- 12/20/2010
/CONTACT: Leslie Valentine,, +1-858-876-4099; or
Stephanie Bourgeois,, +1-212-847-0775
/Web Site: / CO: The Institute of Culinary Education
ST: New York Peru
-- NY20036 --
0000 12/20/2010 12:00:00 EDT
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.
This is the fulltext.

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