Taxonomically classified as part of the criollo group, cacao porcelana has captivated the attention of researchers and chocolate enthusiasts alike.
The controversies surrounding the origins and divergence of the criollo varieties have spurred scientific discourse and investigation.
Tracing Porcelana Roots
The Sucre municipality in the Zulia state of Venezuela has a fascinating history rooted in its African heritage and colonial legacy. Established in 1591 as the Villa de San Antonio de Gibraltar, this region attracted early colonizers with its strategic location and fertile lands. Sucre municipality quickly became renowned for its agricultural potential, with crops like corn, cassava, and cotton flourishing. However, it was the discovery of cacao that would shape its destiny and put it on the world map as an agricultural powerhouse.
The indigenous people of Sucre municipality were familiar with cacao, using the beans to prepare a cooked beverage called Chorate. When the Spanish settlers arrived, they adopted this traditional practice but added milk and spices to create what we now know as chocolate. The Europeans soon realized the immense value of cacao as a consumable product and began cultivating it on a larger scale in Sucre municipality, taking advantage of the region's wild cacao forests.
The particular variety of cacao cultivated in Sucre municipality stood out for its exceptional quality and appearance. The Spanish named it Cacao Porcelana due to its delicate, lightly colored beans that resembled porcelain. Only one out of a thousand flowers from this variety would develop into a pod containing 25 nuts, making it incredibly rare and highly prized in the chocolate industry. The success and international recognition of Sucre municipality's cacao plantations, commonly called Cacao Sur del Lago, fueled its reputation as a significant player in the global cacao industry.
The Spanish naming of Cacao Porcelana not only highlights its physical attributes but also symbolizes the luxury and excellence associated with this particular variety. This naming decision intensified its allure and ultimately led to its worldwide recognition. Today, Cacao Porcelana remains an integral part of Sucre municipality's rich cacao heritage and Venezuela's broader cacao industry. Its superb quality and refined flavor continue to captivate chocolate enthusiasts, reinforcing its status as a symbol of excellence and luxury.
Our Endeavor to Safeguard and Propagate this Rare Cacao Genetic Variety.
We have embarked on a noble mission: the preservation and propagation of Porcelana Cacao genetics. Our efforts in the Cacao Preservation Project is to ensure the continuous existence and availability of this exceptional cacao variety for generations to come.
Grafting is one of the key techniques we employ to propagate Porcelana Cacao. By carefully joining a stem or bud from a mature Porcelana tree (the scion) with the rootstock of a different cacao variety, we hope to create healthy and hardy new plants. This process not only allows us to increase the number of Porcelana trees but also ensures the preservation of its unique genetic traits that make it so highly sought-after.
Within our community, we have established a dedicated nursery that serves as the heart of our conservation efforts. Here, under the watchful eyes of our skilled craftsmen, young Porcelana plants are nurtured and cared for. Each plant is provided with the ideal conditions for growth: shade, ventilation, and regular monitoring. The nursery not only serves as a haven for the Porcelana seedlings but also acts as a center where knowledge and techniques are shared, ensuring the perpetuation of this exceptional genetic treasure.
As we plunge deeper into our undertaking, we are fueled by a sense of responsibility and reverence for nature's finest creations. With each graft, each nurtured seedling, and each distribution, we take one more step towards a more sustainable future. Our mission is not just a journey of preservation; it is a commitment to history, culture, and the pursuit of exquisite chocolate experiences.
Join us on this extraordinary endeavor as we safeguard the rare treasure that is Porcelana Cacao.