Saturday October 6, 2012
Valrhona Protects Endangered Bean With Estate Bars
Brooklyn, NY — Valrhona USA is attempting to save the rare Porcelana white cocoa bean from extinction through its Cambios Project and the release of its Single Origin Vintage Estate-Grown bars.
Porcelana beans, which are from the Criollo variety, yield some of the most aromatic and finest cocoa in existence, according to Valrhona. The company has dedicated the El Pedregal plantation in Venezuela to helping the endangered beans flourish as part of the Cambios Project, a joint effort with the Merida Botanical Gardens, which aims to preserve the biodiversity of the forests of the Andes Cordillera region.
“The mission of the Cambios Project is to offer proactive support for a more sustainable method of cocoa production, both in social and economic terms,” says Marine Leman, brand manager at Valrhona, adding that this is achieved through education of local communities as well as through “collecting, reproducing and reintroducing endangered plants.”
The company's line of estate bars is set for release in early November. Estate-grown chocolate is made from the cocoa beans of a single harvest from one specific plantation. Valrhona has been producing estate bars since 1998, when it launched its first edition of Gran Couva, which uses beans grown at the San Juan Estate in Trinidad. This year's bars will include El Pedregal bars, Gran Couva bars and Ampamakia bars, which are made using beans from northwestern Madagascar.
The 2.6-ounce dark chocolate bars sell individually for $10.99 or in six-ct gift boxes for $74.99. They are available exclusively at Valrhona's website.