TRINIDAD, JAGASSAR ESTATE, 80%
TRINIDAD, JAGASSAR ESTATE, 80%
This is our most exclusive chocolate bar to date. Only 3 bags of cacao were harvested from the Jagassar Estate, and all of them went into making this unique chocolate. With such a limited supply of cacao from this origin, extra care went into the making of this batch of chocolate. The flavors are deep, dark and rich with notes of fudge, brazil nut, toast and dates.
“Tough. Just really tough.” These are the first words used in the Meridian Cacao microlot communiqué to describe growing cacao in Trinidad last year. To produce high quality cacao is difficult. Adverse weather, especially in these times of changing climate, can wreak havoc on the delicate growing demands of budding, flowering and pollinating trees, such as the cacao tree. Even if the flowers bloom, pollinate successfully and manage to grow healthy cacao pods, fungal disease, which destroy healthy pods, is still a major issue, as with most of Trinidad during the 2017-2018 growing season. From the Meridian Cacao microlot report, “We were slammed early in the harvest period by lots of rain and flooded zones, aka Club Med for the fungal diseases that attack cacao.”
Only about 40% of the trees were able to produce healthy cacao pods, and for those that did, successful fermentation and drying would still be obstacles to overcome. With the primary harvest season coinciding with the rainy season, “getting the beans dried was a… saga of epic proportions.” Despite the flooding, the fungus and the heavy rain during the bean drying window, some exceptional cacao was still able to be produced. In total, we were able to get 330lbs of cacao from the Jagassar Estate. After roasting, winnowing and adding 20% cane sugar for an 80% cacao chocolate, we made about 1,800 bars—and you are one of the lucky few to get one!
We are honored and excited to have access to the limited supply of cacao from the Jagassar Estate in Moruga, Trinidad. For us, the farm, the cacao and the history are perfect metaphors for the cacao industry as a whole. Lawrence Jagassar’s estate is 16 acres with a mixed variety of Trinitario and older indigenous cacao. However, the farm hasn’t been very active for several years now, because as Mr. Jagassar puts it, “you do the right or wrong thing and you still get the same lousy price… so why bother?” Nowadays, with some willing buyers, like us, growers like Mr. Jagassar can charge a much higher price for their hard work to produce exceptional quality — a model that proportionally rewards growers for their efforts to produce fine flavor cacao.
Due to a variety of factors, the Jagassar Estate only exported 3 full bags of cacao last year. We were lucky enough to buy all 3 bags and make one batch. That means this is the only chocolate in the world made exclusively with the Jagassar Estate cacao. The flavors are deep, rich and chocolatey with notes of dried fruit and nuts — a combination of flavors that we’ve never tasted before and that we can’t get enough of.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!