Night, playground of all possibilities
In Mesoamerican thought, cocoa represented the nocturnal, the underworld; which did not mean anything bad, on the contrary; for this culture the night means, a journey towards the inner being, it is a place of peace and serenity. A moment to awaken intuition, is part of the powerful field of play of all possibilities where everything is possible, because everything is in the process of creation.
The chocolate drink was taken by the warriors since it was considered a healer and energetic.
Studies at the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial level, were able to discover that cacao originated in Venezuela, specifically in the southern area of Lake Maracaibo. From there, it spread from there to the Amazon basin, diversifying during the Pleistocene period into: ‘Creole’ cocoa for the south of the lake and ‘stranger’ cocoa in the Amazon basin. In a second phase and in more recent times, probably close to 10 thousand years, the plant was migrating towards the coasts of Mesoamerica.
In the south zone, the Maracaibo Lake, originated the Creole cacao, currently represented by the Porcelana, of white-greenish colors, dark green, pink and red, of smooth bark; There is also the Pentagon cocoa and the Andean Creoles of rough fruits, which together constitute a rich cocoa biodiversity unique in the world.
In a gradual way, the Creole cacao was migrating from the foothills of the Andes mountain range, crossing the sheet until reaching the Orinoco Delta. There it was crossed with the stranger cocoa from the lower Amazon, giving rise to a hybrid that we can call Deltano, and which is known today as the Trinitario cocoa.
CHACOTE medicinal, religious and cosmetic drink
The Venezuelan Indians drank a drink prepared with the cocoa seed that they called “CHACOTE” and on the altars of their gods they offered cocoa butter, burned in mud grills. Like the Aztecs, the Venezuelan Indians used the cocoa beans as currency and also prepared a drink for medicinal, religious and cosmetic purposes.
Monumento del Cacao – San José – Río Chico, Estado Miranda
When the Spaniards arrived in Venezuela, cocoa was widespread in various coastal regions in the center, south and east of the Lake Maracaibo basin, as well as in the upper Orinoco.
The state of Trujillo, located in the west of the country, was one of the first places where cocoa was grown. In the valleys of Pocó, the Spaniards established large haciendas and exported their fruits through the lake of Maracaibo to the port of Gibraltar and from there to Spain. However, many of the offices were diverted to the Caribbean island of Curaçao, a Dutch colony, and in this way contraband of large proportions to other European countries that were willing to pay better prices. For this reason the Guipuzcoana Company was created in the Spanish colony, in order to guarantee the supply of Venezuelan products to Spain, including cocoa.
During the Colony, (1600-1800), the cultivation of cocoa expanded throughout the country. The first plantations in Barlovento, a region located in the area of the coast, were established by Capuchin monks from Aragon, in Curiepe and Panaquire. The Orituco cocoa, cultivated in the Tuy creeks, in the same coastal area, conquered a deserved fame for its aroma and excellence. Also in the east of the country numerous and vast haciendas were founded and a prosperous cocoa trade quickly flourished there.
By the year 1810, before the War of Independence against Spain, Venezuela was harvesting 200,000 bushels of cocoa (20,000 tons) per year. During the period of the Republic (1850-1880), despite the ups and downs that this crop experienced, it continued to occupy a prominent place. After the economic recession, caused by the War of Independence at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, cocoa once again occupied its priority, being the main activity of the society of that time. Cocoa represented 75% of Venezuelan exports, leaving large profits. At that time, cocoa was sold at a high price, on average 80 pesos for a fanega.
With the War of Independence, the main buyer of Venezuelan cocoa, Spain, disappears, which coincided with the immense popularity of coffee throughout the world, with the result that around 1840 production fell by half, close to 100,000 fanegas (10,000 t). According to Humboldt, when he visited Venezuela (in the early 1800s), there were about 6 million trees in the country, with production much higher than today.
The appearance of oil at the end of the 1920s generated a series of changes that have affected the social and economic-productive structure of the country, which in the case of cocoa began to manifest openly since the mid-1940s. The accentuation of the oil economy, the fall in the prices of export products, the increase in African participation in the cocoa business and the occurrence of some natural disasters (the 1933 cyclone that devastated the Sucre state plantations) affected importantly the production and export of cocoa. This is compounded by the lack of a defined type of cocoa, due to the crossing of foreign cocoa with the Creole, defective and inefficient cultivation systems, unskilled labor, limitation in the renovation of haciendas and lack of prophylaxis have decreased cocoa production in the Barlovento area.
Cocoa cultivation in the Coffee Region, Belalcázar “Balcony of the landscape”
The secret of one of the best cacaos in the world is found among the ancestral lands that make up the foothills of the Venezuelan Andean Cordillera, where the Táchira, Mérida, Trujillo and Zulia states are located, more specifically in the southern area of Lake Maracaibo , not directly facing the Caribbean Sea, nor belonging to the Amazon rainforest, is considered an area of refuge or ecological niche, in which the environmental conditions that gave Venezuelan cacao the qualities it has today were preserved for thousands of years.
Out of every thousand flowers, one is transformed into an ear and it offers 25 grains of the wonderful product. Today its cultivation has taken boom, given its unique flavor and its growing demand in the international market. PORCELAIN is known worldwide for its exceptional aromatic power, soft flavor and delicate texture, it provides a great deal of fat, it has more flavonoids and vitamins, as well as omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 oils. The more fat the better quality cocoa contains .
It differs from other varieties in that it is not astringent and adds delicacy and sweetness to the tablets, to which dairy products of any kind are not added.
Cocoa is a low-fat and high-fiber food. Including their consumption in our diet is, therefore, very healthy according to the experts. In fact, some studies highlight its action against hypertension and its positive benefits in intellectual or cognitive capacity.
Cocoa is considered a “superfood” because it contains more than 50 nutrients and bio-active components such as polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect and provide health benefits. In addition, to give energy, helps maintain the ideal weight and improves mood.