Essential Pantry Cru Sauvage - Wild Cocoa Baking Chocolate 68% (Bittersweet) - 16 oz - Bolivia
Available now. Due to an article in Outside Magazine, Cru Sauvage has been in high demand. Place your order now.
These little discs of rare Cru Sauvage chocolate are excellent for eating out of hand or for incorporating into a host of chocolate desserts.
Flavor Profile of Cru Sauvage Chocoate
The substantial and harmonious cocoa flavors of the Cru Sauvage are well complemented with the freshness of the lemon and the fruitiness of the grapefruit. The traditional gentle processing method (60 hours conching) unfolds the intense dried prune bouquet and vanilla in its most exquisite way. The exceptionally pleasant fruit acidity and the long-lasting ending make the Cru Sauvage with its cocoa content of 68% a unique culinary experience.
The Story of Cru Sauvage - A Bitter Sweet Journey from Bean to Bar
By Eliza Ward
Wild cocoa trees grow in the Amazon region of Bolivia on raised areas of land, which stick out like small islands in the middle of swampland. The Cambas, as locals of this region are known, have lived for centuries in this underdeveloped and hard-to-reach part of Bolivia. From years of experience, they know exactly where to find the wild cacao trees, and during the harvest, they gather the cacao fruit which grows in scattered locations throughout the forest. The Cambas are often away for days, either on foot, on horseback or in dugout canoes, in pursuit of the wild bean.
Back on the farm, or finca, called "Tranquilidad," the cocoa beans are allowed to ferment in wooden crates. Regular turning provides consistent aeration. Finally, the beans are dried in the tropical sun for several days. Then, the beans are ready for their long journey to Europe.
Transportation of the wild beans is a real challenge. Cocoa pods are harvested during the rainy season and roads are largely impassable during that time. So, the bags filled with beans are carried on riverboats to the Amazon steamer docks in Trinidad. Then the beans will travel 900 miles by truck over Bolivia's antiquated road sytem to La Paz, Bolivia's capital city, where they will be stored briefly in a high-altitude (13,000 feet) wearhouse. The local weather and elivation provide the perfect storing conditions for the dried, raw beans.
From there, the beans will soon travel over the high pass (15,700 feet) accross the Andes mountains to Chile's Pacific coast port of Arica, where the precious cargo is loaded onto a feeder cargo ship. From there, the wild cocoa beans are shipped to Panama, then through the Panama canal and across the Atlantic to Europe where, upon arrival in Rotterdam they are reloaded onto smaller feederboats for the relatively short trip to Basel, Switzerland. Once they arrive in Basil, they are painstakingly inspected once more by the receiver - the famed Felchlin Chocolate Company.
These unusually small cocoa beans require extra special attention and care during the manufacturing process. All the machines used to process them must be readjusted individually to fit the demands of the Cru Sauvage; the roasting process especially requires intensive care and patience. For Bolivian wild cocoa, the roasting temperature is lower and the roasting time is longer than for all other cocoa beans.
Then comes conching. Conching is a time-intensive blending and refinement process requiring a great deal of know-how, experience and dedication - as well as a certain amount of intuition, and a natural sense of what the Cru Sauvage chocolate needs. Each type of cocoa is different - and so is its conching time. For the Cru Sauvage, 60 hours in the traditional conches have been determined as optimum length of time. This extra-long-lasting conching process and aeration allow the still hidden wealth of its aromas and flavors to unfold. At the same time, homogeneity, taste subtleness and ideal texture are reached, leading to a unique flavor and exceptionally high quality mouth-feel.
Through such great care in picking and processing, the small wild beans gradually unfold their intensive and unique aromas and flavors. Cru Sauvage is truly the only one of its kind - and relatively cheap, considering its long voyage from wild bean to exquisite couverture chocolate!
To learn more about Volker Lehmann, and his journey to preserve the Bolivian Wild Cocoa Bean, Cru Sauvage, and the rain forest, click here.
Love chocolate - even in the summer? Read our Blog Post: 6 Ways to Get Your Chocolate Kicks without Turning Up the Heat.
Keywords: Cru Sauvage, Cru Savage, wild, cocoa, Volker Lehmann, Bolivia, chocolate, bittersweet, Outside Magazine, rain forest