From Bean to Bar
On small plantations, in secluded coastal valleys, the grassy plains and the foothills of the Andes, generations of Venezuelan farmers have developed the art of nurturing the finest varieties of criollo and trinitario cacao.
For centuries experts have agreed on one basic truth: Venezuelan cacao is the most flavorful and aromatic in the world. And El Rey uses only 100% Venezuelan cacao, fermented and sun dried, and processed using state-of-the-art technology. From this marriage of art and science are born unique chocolate couvertures that redefine world standards of excellence.
An exceptional chocolate starts with the land, but it takes the art and science of man and a long journey from plantation to glistening factory to turn a humble heap of cacao beans into a luscious chocolate bar.
Chocolate is made from the beans of a beautiful tropical plant with a suggestive name, Theobroma cacao - The Food of the Gods. Cacao grows in humid, warm forests around the world sheltered by a canopy of taller trees.
A mature tree will bear between twenty to forty pods a year. Each pod contains from twenty to forty almond shaped beans enveloped by a mucilaginous ivory tinged substance with a delicious tart flavor. Depending on the variety, a cacao tree will produce between one to three kilos of dried beans per year.
The Spanish conquistadors were fascinated by the hearty chocolate beverages they found in the lands of the Maya and the Aztecs. Their detailed accounts contributed to association of cacao with Mexico. Yet the birthplace of cacao is South America.