Preserving Papua New Guinea’s cocoa beans in a way that’s never been done before

29 Jan 2020


Belcolade Origins is our range of real Belgium chocolate, taking you on an exciting trip all around the world. With this range, we go back to the roots of chocolate. Belcolade Origins combines the cocoa bean’s unique local terroir with an exclusive natural drying method, new to Papua New Guinea. Let us introduce to you our latest addition to our range: Belcolade Origins Noir Papua New Guinea 73 Cacao-Trace.

Land of the unexpected

The peninsula of Papua New Guinea is located in the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia and bordering Indonesia. The country's landscape is mountainous and in places extremely rugged. It is mostly covered with dense tropical rainforests. The majority of the population lives from agriculture, cocoa beans being one of the key crops. Papua New Guinea has earned a global reputation as one of the finest flavour cocoa producers, according to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) rating.

Dare to be different

Papua New Guinea is the birthplace of some of the world’s most unique and flavourful cocoa beans. Cultivated on the steep mountainsides along the majestic Sepik River, Belcolade aims to safeguard the pure and natural taste of the region. The traditional Papua New Guinean cocoa beans are known for their overwhelmingly smoky flavour. Traditionally, indigenous cocoa farmers dried their beans using wood fire. This drying method results in cross-contamination of smoke and impacts the unique natural flavours present in the cocoa beans. To transform this process, Puratos asked the local authorities for permission to introduce our own, optimised sun-drying technique. A technique that has never been used before in Papua New Guinea because of the very high humidity there. This natural, non-smoking drying technique preserves the exquisite natural flavour of the cocoa beans and truly showcases Papua New Guinea’s jewel of the mountains.

Collaboration at its finest

For the development of this new origin Papua New Guinea Chocolate, Belcolade has taken full control over all the ingredients and the process in order to make better-tasting chocolate and to have a real impact on the quality of life of cocoa farmers. The chocolate is also Cacao-Trace certified. This allows the local communities to benefit from the quality premium and Chocolate Bonus received for every kilo of chocolate sold. The average impact on living income for our Cacao-Trace farmers is three times higher than trough other sustainability programs.

By applying this new drying technique, we continue to achieve our goal of safeguarding the pure, natural taste of the local beans while also halting deforestation, as there is no need to use wood for drying the cocoa beans. We make this a reality by taking a grassroots approach, working hand-in-hand with local farmers, with unconditional respect for their traditions and fermentation expertise. We’ve done our utmost to work with the region’s people to capture the essence of the cocoa beans, so that you can taste their origins without ever having to leave home.

Recommendations from our Chocolate Experts

The surprising complexity of flavours makes Papua New Guinea 73 delightfully special. Based on pure, torrefied cocoa, this unique chocolate combines the roasted flavours of coffee and hazelnut with notes of both fresh and dried fruit. But there is more: completing the tasting experience are underlying hints of black pepper and honey.

Be inspired by the endless creative possibilities that Belcolade Origins Noir Papua New Guinea 73 Cacao-Trace offers. Use the chocolate in a dessert combined with tropical fruits such as banana, coconut, orange or apricots for a distinguished taste palette.

Curious about our Belcolade Origins range? Discover how we have travelled back to the roots of chocolate and take a look at our range.