by Adam Pearson
I’ve been working in the Maranon Chocolate cacao processing facility for exactly 23 days now. The crew is fantastic, the work is hard, and the cacao that we turn out is just splendid. What has impressed me most about the operation is that Brian has put together is our quality control. It is no exageration when I say that EVERY SINGLE pure nacional cacao bean gets looked at by various sets of eyes at least five times.
Why does it matter?
We’ve been told by numerous world class experts that our cacao is the best they’ve ever seen or tasted. A big part of that has do do with the genetics. An equally important factor is processing. A well processed bean retains its delicate flavors resulting in delicious chocolate. We eliminate all beans that are not perfectly processed
Also, we only ship perfectly shaped beans. Much of the worlds cacao is delivered with deformed beans. A deformed bean, a bean that is flat or misshapen, takes to the processing differently than a perfectly shaped bean and may cause flavor inconsistencies.
Because we look at every bean at least five times, no deformed or poorly processed beans make it into our chocolate. We can promise a consistently wonderful chocolate.
Bees and Motorcycles
In the Maranon Canyon, quality control is not fun and games. Before we even start the fermenting process we do our first round of removing deformed beans. Our first look at the cacao comes when it is delivered to our plant in sealed buckets. They come covered in the sweet, white pulp that surrounds them in the pod. Bees have an affinity for the nectar. As we slosh through every single bean, the bees begin to surround us. At the height of the invasion, we look at the beans, literally, surrounded by a swarm of bees. It is not for the faint of heart and we and our workers are regularly stung. The price of perfection!
Sometimes the beans arrive from the farms late at night. We had a rain storm during the day last week that ruined the roads coming to our facility. As a result, our pickup team hadn’t arrived until 9:30pm. The storm was so bad that it knocked out the electricity in our plant. In the dark, by the light of motorcycle headlights, we made sure that as few deformed beans as possible made it to even the first stage of our processing.
And that is just what happened on the first day of processing.
We can guarantee that every bite of Maranon Chocolate will be as delicious as the preceding bite. Come rain, shine, bees or darkness, every bean will get looked at at least 5 times. Only the best pure nacional cacao will ever make it into our chocolate.