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Cacaobutter 250 g

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Cacaobutter

Cocoa trees produce fibrous pods 15 to 25cm long and 7 to 10cm in diameter. Each contains 20 to 40 beans (seeds) within a pulp. The raw unroasted beans are about 2.5cm long and contain roughly 65% water. After harvesting, the cacao pods are opened, and the beans and pulp removed. These are piled together and fermented over several days in the ambient tropical temperature (below 118°F, 47°C). The fermentation process is a key stage in the development of the classic aroma and flavour of our beans. Following fermentation, the beans are carefully sundried, again below 118°F, which can take several days. Once fermented and dried, water content of the beans falls to approximately 5%.

At this stage the beans are broken up, into nibs, and put through a winnower to separate the nibs from their shells. The nibs are then stoneground for 10-12 hours into an ultra-fine paste; the processing temperature is kept below 118°F throughout. The paste is pressed through a fine mesh which retains the cacao particles as a ‘cake’ while the butter flows through. The retained cake is broken up and sifted into cacao powder, while the butter is allowed to set and then packed for dispatch.

Our raw Ecuadorian cacao butter is an exclusive, high quality butter carefully made by one of the world’s leading cacao growers. An essential ingredient for making your own raw chocolate.

HISTORY
The cacao tree, native to the fertile forests of South America, is famous not only for its unique taste, but also for its therapeutic and nutritional properties. The generic name – Theobroma – literally translates to ‘food of the gods’.

The words ‘cacao’ and ‘cocoa’ essentially describe the same product, cocoa being an anglicised term for cacao. Some definitions use ‘cacao’ to describe the bean in its natural form, changing to ‘cocoa’ once it has been processed. In this summary the terms are used interchangeably.

Cocoa was first cultivated by the Olmecs in Mexico as early as 1000 BC and was used to make fortifying beverages. Over time the Mayans and Aztecs adopted cocoa into their own cultures, incorporating the drink into ceremonial rituals and even using cocoa beans as currency. It wasn’t until the Spanish arrived in the 1500s that cocoa was introduced to Europe; here, the cacao drink was sweetened by adding sugar, cinnamon and heated to improve its texture. As demand grew from the West, cocoa plantations began to be developed on a large scale. Cocoa also came to play a medicinal role, used to treat a range of afflictions, from smallpox and yellow fever to cholera and snakebites.

There are three main varieties of the cocoa plant: Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario. Until the 18th century, plantations mostly grew Criollo beans. However, today they make up less than 5% of cocoa production, with high-yielding Forastero dominating the world market for bulk, mainstream processing.

Our Ecuadorian beans are Arriba Nacional. Nacional is a variety of cacao specific to Ecuador and regarded as distinct from Criollo. The floral aroma unique to the Nacional cacao is called the ‘Arriba’ flavour; true Arriba Nacional cacao is exclusive to Ecuador and considered to be the world’s finest. The Arriba Nacional beans are grown in mineral rich volcanic soil at high elevation in Ecuador. The cacao trees are carefully cultivated to organic standards in this unpolluted natural environment, and the beans sun dried and processed using custom built equipment to ensure that the raw cacao is of the very highest quality.

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  • Free shipping from 150.-

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