For centuries, chocolatiers have blended cacao beans from various parts of the world to make chocolates that respond to a particular flavor and aroma profile. The process is similar to other creative endeavors such as perfume blending, wine making, and even painting. Bulk or "basic" forastero cacao is treated as a blank canvas upon which single notes of flavor and aroma coming from beans of various prices and qualities are applied to create the desired effect.
The best European chocolate manufacturers select flavor grade beans like the magnificent Venezuelan criollos and trinitarios to mix with less flavorful "basic" forastero beans from Brazil, Africa or Asia. Due to their limited availability and premium prices, the flavor grade beans from Venezuela are used in small percentages.
El Rey: A New Frontier While blending is a time honored tradition, exploring the use of a single type of cacao is the new frontier in chocolate making. Having access to regional varieties of Venezuelan cacao of exceptional quality and flavor complexity, El Rey chooses not to blend. El Rey prefers to let the land do the talking and to allow the intrinsic qualities of select Venezuelan cacao to take center stage in its unique premium chocolate couvertures.