Collaboration among Utah Firms Results in Wild Cocoa Availability in American Stores, Bolivian Rainforest Conservation Efforts

Two renowned businesses in Salt Lake City have collaborated to create a gourmet chocolate bar using rare, wild-caught cacao from the rainforests of Bolivia. The Tale of Dark Chocolate, Wild Tranquillidad has been produced by Caputo’s Market & Deli and Ritual Chocolate, with profits being used to support sustainable agriculture in Bolivia. Agronomist Volker Lehmann found a wild cocoa strain in the region that had a genetic profile of 97.3%. The strain was named Veniano cacao and Lehman started farming it in Baules, Bolivia, at Trunk Iridad Estate.

The Wild Tranquillidad chocolate bar is made using only two ingredients, 75% cocoa and 25% sugar, and is produced using wild cocoa beans that are harvested only once a year from December until the end of February, at the end of the rainy season. Harvesting of the cocoa beans is unpredictable due to variable weather conditions. Caputo’s Market & Deli has supported the preservation of heirloom cocoa varieties such as Giulua and Beniano. Wild Jurua by Luisa Abram was the first supported chocolate bar, made from rare cocoa beans found along the Jurua River in the Amazon rainforest, and succeeded in preserving cocoa varieties.

Caputo’s Market & Deli has joined forces with Ritual Chocolate to create the unique Wild Tranquillidad Chocolate bar, which is pure, round, and free of additives. Caputo’s has pledged to pay in advance to ensure a full harvest is obtained every time, and the success of the Wild Tranquillidad has enabled the preservation of heirloom cocoa varieties. The annual Chocolate Festival hosted by Caputo’s Market & Deli will support the Heirloom Cocoa Preservation Fund, aimed at protecting unique cocoa varieties, with Wild Tranquillidad inspired by Trunk Iridad Estate in Bolivia.

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