The wild cacao we buy must be processed at its origin, where it is picked. Ideally, we must start the fermentation of the cacao beans as soon as they are harvested from the cacao tree.
Processing the cacao in the world’s largest rainforest is not an easy task. Differently from the routine in a farm, to collect the wild cacao, the local indigenous folks (ribeirinhos) walk for miles into a dense and thick forest collecting the amount of fruit necessary to fill up the fermentation boxes. There is no help from any kind of animal (such as donkeys that help with the loads in farms) and there is the ever present heat and humidity which cannot be underestimated.
According to our fermentation protocol, fruits must be harvested at the right moment – not so unripe and not so ripe – and its beans should be set apart by the volume of pulp, so that we are able to get a homogenous mass that will ferment evenly.