Fortunato No4 Pure Nacional cacao bean re-discovered in Peru.
The original cacao bean, the Pure Nacional, was thought to be extinct in 1919 and has now been rediscovered in a remote part of the upper Maranon Valley in Peru.
In 2007 two American fine food procurers stumbled on 23 rare cacao trees on a jungle farm managed by Don Fortunato. They decided to send samples to Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt, Lead Researcher from the USDA Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory in the US, to analyze the genetic structure of the beans. He found that they were Pure Nacional plants native to Peru.
Due to the remoteness and the high altitude of the region, this cacao has remained unadulterated for thousands of years.
A co-op of 350 farmers is now growing, fermenting, drying, and most importantly: protecting these beans from cross-pollination. The small harvest is distributed to less than 40 high-profile chocolatiers around the World.
Igor Van Gerwen, head chocolatier of Tasmania’s Anvers Confectionery was intrigued by the story of re-discovery and astounded by the complexity of the flavour profiles that he wanted it to feature in his product range. To do that, Igor regularly travels to Peru to make sure that purity, environmental and social sustainability is maintained and to continue the direct trade relationships, guaranteeing that Australia does not miss out.