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What are the most prized cocoa beans?

As you enjoy your chocolate bar dispensed from a UKVending vending machine you tastebuds are enjoying the wonderful mixture of flavour and textures that only chocolate can bring. But, you probably didn’t know that there are two varieties of cocoa varieties in the world that are the most coveted by chocolate manufacturers for their exceptional complexities of taste and their rarity, Criollo and Nacional. Nacional hails from Ecuador, while Criollo is primarily found in Venezuela.


This variety dates back over 1,500 years to the Mayan civilisation and maybe even earlier and was found across Honduras, Venezuela and the Amazon basin. Criollo cocoa beans generally contain fewer tannins and polyphenols and theobromine which gives it a less bitter taste and equates to an exceptionally smooth, rich taste.


Nacional on the other hand is the rarest cacao in the world and has been traced back over 5300 years to the area around modern day Ecuador. Unlike Criollo, Nacional is high in polyphenols and tannic and is moderately acidic. In terms of taste, it is complex with floral, fruity, nutty and earthy notes.

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