I recently received some cacao from one of our producers. Since I have had several purchases from them, I only reviewed the top of the first bag. Once I arrived home and was transferring the cacao to our sealed storage barrel and discovered about ten kilos out of 53 kilos was completely moldy. What a bummer. Much of it had mixed in with the rest which is excellent. I tried a small batch of chocolate with the mixed cacao and could taste the damaged cacao in the chocolate.
Now...we always buy our cacao at very favorable prices for the producer. And since we have a "Chocolate Feedback Program" or CFP as my new friend Drew calls it, I can give the producer the chocolate made from his cacao. I know it does nobody any good to feel ripped off (even though this is clearly a way of hiding bad cacao and getting paid as though it is quality) so I decided to hand pick out all the bad cacao and make two chocolates....one with the moldy cacao and the other with the perfect cacao.
The next time I go to receive cacao from this producer I will do two things. First, I will give the producer two chocolates made from his cacao so he can tasted the results of his actions. Second I will inspect all the cacao from top to bottom before I pay them. I hope this chocolate feedback will be a loving way to correct an understandable misconception. Cacao buyers who are interested in quality and a new and rare breed to most small producers.
Most cacao producers have never tasted chocolate made from their own cacao. Since we are a small batch producer of chocolate we can offer the CFP to very small scale producers. Once these producers taste the difference, they will understand why not to mix damaged cacao with first class cacao. And everybody wins!
Chocolate Diaries from the Caribeans Bean-To-Bar chocolate maker..