The cacao fruit surrounds the cacao bean in the pod – nature’s bubblewrap. It often used to be discarded after the bean had been harvested, but now, like so many byproducts, people are starting to think, ‘What can we do with that?’ And what can be done with it is it can be made into juice or purée and from there into various other products (including jam).
A few years ago, cacao pulp juice became more available in the UK (you can buy it – Pacha de Cacao – from Cocoa Runners from £9.95 for two, although currently there’s a waiting list). The pulp has a tangy taste, described as being like lychee, pineapple or mango.
For a while Oenone Thomas of Cocoa Retreat had been thinking about how to incorporate it into chocolate and now she’s managed it by sourcing cocoa fruit pulp purée in some beautiful, superfresh-tasting Cacao Fruit Truffles, £6/40g. She’s paired the Ecuadorian purée with her 73% Peruvian Chuncho Urushayhua. They are very zesty and sharp and sweet at the same time. Not the sort of thing I could binge on, but almost like a palette cleanser at the end of a meal. They are really interesting and worth a try on your craft-chocolate journey. Let me know what you think.
I had a bit of a disappointing time testing chocolate this week with some choc that really didn’t come up to being written about. Luckily, I had a delicious bar of Solkiki 54% Brazil Nut Marañón, £8.50, to comfort me. Although technically a dark chocolate, it tastes like a creamy dark milk due to being stuffed full of ground brazil nuts. Talking of which, don’t brazil nuts look like tiny killer whales?
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