Chocolate, Bioterrorism, and the Birth of Brazilian Funk

 Healthy pods at Vale Potumuju, photo by Greg D'Alesandre

Healthy pods at Vale Potumuju, photo by Greg D'Alesandre

You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet around Chocolate Noise lately, and that’s because I’ve spent the past six months or so working on an enormous story about Brazilian cacao and the conspiracy behind its demise in the early '90s. Engadget published it on Friday, and I’m super excited to share it with you here.

I’ve rounded up some photos of Brazilian beans, chocolate makers, and farms that Engadget didn’t use in the story, which means you can exclusively view them here.

 Witches' broom in Bahia, photo by Greg D'Alesandre

Witches' broom in Bahia, photo by Greg D'Alesandre

Pods with witches' broom at Vale Potumuju, photo by Baiani Chocolate

 Beans infected with witches' broom being fermented, photo by Baiani Chocolate

Beans infected with witches' broom being fermented, photo by Baiani Chocolate

 Farmers at Vale Potumuju opening healthy pods, photo by Baiani Chocolate

Farmers at Vale Potumuju opening healthy pods, photo by Baiani Chocolate

Brazilian bean-to-bar makers Juliana and Tuta Aquino consulted cacao whisperer Dan O'Doherty of Cacao Services to improve their growing and processing methods, including transforming their traditional drying area into a solar drying tunnel. Here's a cool video that Tuta made about it.

 The schoolroom at Vale Potumuju, photo by Baiani Chocolate

The schoolroom at Vale Potumuju, photo by Baiani Chocolate

 Juliana choosing beans at Vale Potumuju, photo by Baiani Chocolate

Juliana choosing beans at Vale Potumuju, photo by Baiani Chocolate

 Baiani's pretty molds, photo by Baiani Chocolate

Baiani's pretty molds, photo by Baiani Chocolate

Brazil swept the Academy of Chocolate Awards this year. Baiani Chocolate, the Aquinos' brand, won silver in the tree-to-bar category, and here are all the other Brazilian brands that won awards!

From left: Mission Chocolate (available at these places in the U.S.), Luisa Abram Chocolate (available here), and Mestico Chocolate (available here)

It’s exciting to see Brazil’s bean-to-bar movement blossoming, and to see American makers start to use their beans.

What country do you think is next? Tell me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!