Chuncho cacao is a native variety of cacao in southern Peru, belonging to the Alto Amazonas forastero genetic group, which grows in the excellent conditions found near Quillabamba, Peru.
This heirloom cacao variety produces smaller and fewer pods than some of today’s hybrid varieties, generating for these farmers around 30%-40% less volume to sell. Because of these lower yields from the Chuncho, many farmers have cut their Chuncho trees to plant varieties not native to the area. Competition of bulk cacao replacement crops has made Chuncho more and more difficult to find. Wild harvested Chuncho cacao ensures the preservation of the biodiverse species of plants in the forests and jungles of Peru.
Its origins date back centuries, when it was grown by the Machiguenga indigenous communities in the Amazon basin since at least the 16th Century, if not before.
The fruit has an elongated shape with a smooth yellow skin; the flesh contains many seeds and has a delicate aroma and very fruity flavor similar to citrus fruit. Its acidity and astringency are very low. It is a productive variety that is particularly resistant to diseases because of its heirloom genetic qualities.
A fair and higher price to the farmers is not only compensating for the superb quality of Cacao Chuncho, but also makes up for the lower yield from native grown cacao in comparison to other hybrid cacao varieties. We hope to empower these leaders of the Amazon and Andean regions and bless them with a fair compensation for their work and for the cacao’s true value.
To protect the land, we must first protect those who care for it. The farmers with whom we work are on the edge of the Amazon, a cloud forest where the rainforest merges with the Andean lowlands. These farmers are on the frontier of Amazon, where modern mass crop farming threatens to dig deeper into the jungle. Not only is this cacao grown in harmony with the land, but it is also processed into the ceremonial cacao by the family at origin. We are grateful for the work they do, and love supporting their vision of land preservation and agroforestry.
If your interested in working with this special heirloom cacao with mushrooms, check out Connect Chocolate’s brand new medicine here: