Type: Central Fermentary

Location: Durán, Ecuador

Certifications: Organic

Tasting Notes: Fudgy, Almond, Floral

Varieties: Neo-Nacional

Fermentation Style: Bag fermented in humidity controlled room using inoculation with efficient organisms

Drying Style: Sun dried on raised drying tables. Mechanically dried if necessary Butter Fat Content: 49-52%

Camino Verde is a privately owned fermentary located in Duran, just minutes outside Guayaquil, Ecuador. Camino Verde and Meridian Cacao Company have developed a long-standing relationship built on a passion for impeccable quality and consistency in beans, as well as an understanding of the applied science in cocoa fermentation that pushes the boundaries for new-age methods of cocoa post-harvest processing. Camino Verde’s owner, Vicente Norero, has years of experience in microbiology, which brings a unique approach to fermentation. With Vicente’s deep understanding of fermentation methods he produces a variety of flavor profiles, using enzymes and inoculants to push specific flavor precursors forward in the beans.

From 2008 to 2016 Vicente Norero operated a 381-hectare cocoa estate. Rehabilitating it after years of disrepair, Vicente brought the cocoa farm back to life. He called his operation and labor of love Camino Verde, and over the eight years he was in charge, the farm became a model cocoa plantation in Ecuador. Vicente used his background in microbiology to develop a multitude of inoculated ferments, highlighting the role of fermentation for chocolate makers and consumers alike.

This next phase as a centralized fermentary allows Vicente to set aside exceptional and unique microlots. The opportunities are endless--the lots could contain beans from a single estate, highlight a specific region, or exhibit a specific fermentation style. Camino Verde’s ‘standard’ cocoa bean will be a 100% Nacional blend fermented to have a classic Nacional profile--a close match to the CV-B beans from the old estate, for those who have worked with those beans before.

Says Vicente, “Anyone can source cacao. Our knowledge of farming and managing a plantation allows us to help the farmer in way that other buyers do not. This support and respect that we share with the farmer creates a trust and loyalty relation that is reflected in the product the farmer delivers to us. The Camino Verde farming and harvesting program guarantees farmers not only obtain a greater productivity and healthy beans but also a higher price for their work.”