Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario are the three main varieties of cacao beans used for chocolate in todays food market. Criollo which is native to Central America, the Caribbean islands and the northern tier of South American is the most expensive cocoa on the market because of its rarity. The genetic purity of the cocoa sold as Criollo today is under dispute, mainly because the stands of trees have been genetically crossed with other varieties. Of the cacaos Criollos are the most vulnerable to a variety of threats; therefore the yield of each tree is much lower.
Sporting a delicate yet complex flavor, Criollo is rich in secondary flavor without having the strong taste of classic chocolate. http://amilliondollarincome.com/songlyrics/index.htm Forastero is a cacao that is probably native to the Amazon basin; it is a large group of cultivated and wild cacaos. This is the variety that entirely makes up the cocoa crop in Africa. Forastero cacao trees are a much hardier plant and have a greater yield than Criollo.
Classic chocolate flavor is the trademark of Forastero but it has no noticeable secondary flavors. "Nacional" and "Arriba" are superior types of Forastero, with a very complex flavor. http://amilliondollarincome.com/songlyrics/index.htm The third Trinitario is a natural hybrid that originated in Trinidad when Forastero was brought into the local Criollo crop, (this is what causes the concerns of the genetic purity of Criollo).
The flavors of this type of cacao have a wide range, depending on the specific genetic heritage of each tree. The majority of the cacao grown over the last fifty years is of low-grade Trinitario or Forastero varieties. A minimal 5% of the crop each year has been from the higher quality Trinitarious and Criollos which are called the flavor cacaos. http://amilliondollarincome.com/songlyrics/index.htm Chocolate has been around since the time of the Aztecs and Mayans and was served only to the highest of nobles and the clergy of the time.
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