Peru is a leader in gourmet cuisine and is on track to become a leader in fine cocoa. We were treated to a professional cocoa tasting exercise led by a nationally recognized cocoa quality judge, David Contreras of the cocoa cooperative ACOPAGRO, and Cristina Liberati of Equal Exchange. The cocoa sector has yet to agree on flavor standards for organoleptic (flavor) analysis for cocoa. This leaves cocoa farmers unable to negotiate for high prices based on quality if the metrics used by different companies vary. Following in the steps of the specialty coffee industry, gourmet chocolate companies and farmer organizations are developing tasting guidelines to help remedy this situation. Peru, as a producer of fine flavor cocoa, is a leader in this and we were lucky enough to be led through the professional tasting process being developed to judge high quality Peruvian cacao around the country.
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