Rare Chocolate Rediscovered in Peru

January 06, 2011
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A variety of the cacao plant, thought to have been wiped out, has been rediscovered in Peru's Maranon Canyon. The plant was used to make a chocolate called "Pure Nacional," known for it's fruit and floral flavors.

The plant was considered lost after diseases plagued the trees in Ecuador resulting in 95% of the trees being destroyed in three years. However, in 2007, two Americans disocvered cacao trees growing in the remote Peruvian canyon as they were sourcing fruit. They grew curious about football-shaped pods filled with white and purple beans and sent samples to the USDA for testing who then confirmed these were indeed chocolate plants.

The rare beans are now being processed and produced for the public by Swiss chocolate maker. The chocolate will be launched at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York.

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