You have probably eaten a square of Hershey or Ghirardelli chocolate before, but have you tasted artisan chocolate? Handcrafted by chocolate masters who selectively choose the finest cocoa beans to create a product so unique, it is flavorful and fresh.
Over the past decade, there has been an increase in demand and rapid growth of the artisan chocolate industry.
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The rich, bold, and local flavors that can be found in artisan chocolate are unparalleled and are quickly becoming discovered. This growing trend has led to large investment in NicaraguaÂs cocoa industry.
This vibrant country is becoming a prime destination for producers of raw cocoa seeking creative new sources for the valuable fruit.
The cocoa tree is native to the Americas, but currently the majority of production occurs in Africa.Â As market limitations and increasingly discerning palates turn producersÂ attention to emerging sources, it seems that the cocoa industry has come back to its roots in Nicaragua.
As a dominant form of currency and the Âfood of the godsÂ in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, natives introduced the cocoa bean to Columbus himself near what is now Nicaragua.
Ingermann Making a Difference for Local Farmers
It is only fitting then that the cocoa industry in Nicaragua is expanding rapidly, and doing so in a way that greatly benefits local farmers.Â In an interview with Confectionery News, Tom De Winne, of cocoa supplier Ingermann, discussed the benefits of cocoa production in Nicaragua as well as the mutual benefits enjoyed by rural farmers.
Through its business model, Ingermann maintains complete control over the entire curing and refinement process, replacing time-consuming and inconsistent traditional methods with its own efficient process.Â This includes providing free cocoa trees to farmers in exchange for exclusive rights to their harvest, as well as initiating the curing process as soon as the fruit is collected at the farm.
The company is not only making the farmersÂ lives easier, but is paying them three times the average premium for their work.Â This ensures the farmersÂ loyalty as well as a quality product.
By putting the necessary investment and maintenance into the burgeoning cocoa industry in Nicaragua, Ingermann is able to produce an award winning, Fair Trade brand of cocoa while contributing to the growth and well being of the region.
Come explore this artisan chocolate market for yourself Â and even make your own artisan chocolate!Â In Nicaragua, you can make your own bar during guided classes.Â Roast the beans, add flavors to create your own taste, and enjoy. Â Add this experience to the Chill Program at Gran Pacifica, Nicaragua for a vacation you wonÂt forget.