As New York’s only Chocolate Sommelier, my mission is to enlighten guests that attend chocolate and wine pairing events about what makes the craft chocolate they’re enjoying so special. Many have asked how they can help preserve the rare cacao they have just discovered. Here’s how…

Chocolate is going the way of cardboard tomatoes — tasteless as styro-foam until heirloom varieties came along and they tasted real again. These days chocolate tastes more and more like wax. Great chocolate starts with great Theobroma cacáo trees. But the vast majority of cacáo trees –97% — are bland, bulk-grade. And this bulk encroaches on the other 3%, prized for fine-flavor, at an alarming rate. Time is of the essence to save these trees.

The Heirloom Cacao Preservation fund (HCP), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is a public private partnership with the USDA. It’s the first and only to map the world of high-flavor cacáo.

Heirlooms flourish in the specialty market which pays well above the commodity price…typically double or more. This means
more revenues flow back to the source where cacáo grows to preserve them.

Your organization’s donation to the HCP assures the continued efforts to save these rare cacáo trees. Chocolate and the rainforest will thrive another generation with your help. Visit the Heirloom Cacao Preservation for info and to donate.

Heirloom Cacao Preservation

The New York area is home to many corporations with a global reach and heightened awareness of social responsibility. Exotic Chocolate Tasting wishes to foster an alliance with business to this grassroots endeavor that will make a significant impact for the farmers and families that are our stewards for the Amazon rainforest. 

NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams reports on the demise of the rainforest – Over a Barrel – May 3, 2013