Our cacao pods are harvested once mature and yellow to reddish brown in color. Each pod is split open to reveal dozens of little beans that are coated in thick white, sweet pulp. After exposing the beans and their pulp, the cacao beans start to germinate and are quickly sent to be fermented. The beans are placed in fermentation boxes, where microorganisms react with the sweet pulp, initiating the fermentation and heating up the beans. Over the next five days, a series of reactions occur, causing the pulp to break down, heat up and ultimately cure the bean. This process breaks down the bean’s cell wall and results in beneficial chemical changes that are responsible for the flavor, color and nutrient availability. Once cured and dried, we remove the shell and gently crush the bean into nibs. The nibs are melted into a thick paste and pressed to separate the solids (cacao powder) from the liquids (cacao butter) resulting in a pure, simple yet exceptionally flavorful powder.
Arriba cacao powder has a fruity, earthy chocolate flavor and can be used just like cocoa powder in recipes.