The distinguished Costa Rican cocoa producer, Chocolatera del Volcán, has earned international acclaim by being selected among the top 50 cocoa samples globally in the prestigious “Cacao of Excellence 2023” contest.
Chocolatera del Volcán’s sample was chosen along with three other Costa Rican offerings to represent the country following a competitive national selection process of over 25 entries in January.
This tremendous honor provides valuable recognition of Costa Rica’s emergence as a producer of supreme quality fine cocoa on the world stage.
The Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Fernando Vargas Perez, highlighted the strategic importance of this international distinction for Costa Rica’s cocoa sector.
“This contest represents a strategic opportunity for trend analysis, process standardization, quality improvement, and the global positioning of Costa Rican cocoa in specialized market niches,” he remarked.
Vargas Perez added, “In Costa Rica, producers have been diligently preparing and effectively managing the post-harvest phase, promoting quality and a rich diversity of flavors, which has culminated in international recognition as a producer of fine cocoa. This accolade is a testament to our collective efforts.”
The widely respected Cocoa of Excellence program featured 222 entries from 52 cocoa-producing nations this year. The competition aims to honor cocoa producers worldwide for their diligent efforts in cultivating quality cocoa during the growing, harvesting, and post-harvest processing phases.
The initial evaluation consisted of a meticulous physical assessment of whole and cut cocoa beans by expert judges. This was followed by a thorough sensory analysis of the cocoa liquor which evaluated aroma, flavor, appearance and other attributes based on strict protocols.
Costa Rica can take immense pride in Chocolatera del Volcán securing its place among the world’s top 50 – a truly monumental accomplishment.
But the final chapter of this story remains unwritten. The celebrated samples will now be processed into darkened chocolate which will undergo another round of rigorous blind tastings by an esteemed panel of cocoa and chocolate experts in December 2023.
Their sensory analyses will ultimately determine the recipients of the coveted Gold, Silver and Bronze Cacao of Excellence awards to be announced in February 2024.
While the waiting game continues, Costa Rica has already emerged victorious by demonstrating to the global cocoa community the supreme caliber of its national produce.
Chocolatera del Volcán’s inclusion in the elite top 50 serves as a personal triumph for their team. But even more significantly, it represents a collective milestone and global recognition of Costa Rica’s prominence as a producer of some of the finest cocoa in the world.
With the judging finale fast approaching, the shining spotlight has firmly fixated on Costa Rica’s promising cacao sector. Come February, we will eagerly await the final results while taking immense pride in this phenomenal accomplishment of national distinction on the global stage.