Hidden deep within the valley of the Maranon River in Peru grows one of the world’s rarest cocoa beans. These beans are pure Nacional cacao, a genetic strain native to Ecuador and until recently it was thought to be almost entirely extinct.
This small outcrop growing in remotest Peru was recently rediscovered and has now become one of the most sought after cacao beans in the world. Fruition’s Bryan Graham was fortunate enough to secure an allocation and has used them to craft this dark milk chocolate bar.
At 68% this is a seriously dark milk. But Maranon cacao has about 40% white beans, a marker not just of fine flavour but low bitterness, which gives the bar a mellow flavour.
The floral aroma passes through orange blossom and tropical fruits. The flavour is sweet but delicate: milky creme caramel is laced with butter toffee, raisins and toasted nuts. The bar manages to balance the bean’s subtle profile with a perfectly creamy texture and just the right amount of sweetness.
This bar won three gold medals at the International Chocolate Awards 2015, including World Gold.