Cocoa Bean, Raw, White, Split

March 7, 2013

Cutting a fresh cocoa bean reveals a complex grooved pattern.

White beans like these are rare.  The absence of the purple color indicates fewer bitter anthocyanins.  When processed, these beans produce a more mellow-tasting and intensely floral chocolate.

The beans pictured here come from a criollo pod.  Criollo-type beans make chocolate of the highest quality.

Forasteros-type beans make up the gross majority of the cocoa produced per annum.  They have beans with purple interior that lack the secondary notes of criollo chocolate.  However, a rare subset of forasteros also produces a white bean.  This subset, called nacional, was wiped out by disease.  Only lower-quality hybrids were thought to remain until an isolated strain was recently found high in the Puruvian mountains.

White-interior beans result from isolated inbreeding that allow recessive mutations to surface after generations.

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