Bright, Peruvian Nacional
Flavors of raspberry, dried prunes and pecan divulge the secrets of this ultra rare white cacao—nature’s delicious mistake— found along Peru’s coastal desert, the habitat of a diverse and bright butterfly collection.
The dry, desert valleys in Piura, Northern Peru, had suffered from deforestation which in turn worsened the drought. During the rainy season, the rivers would overflow then run dry again, exacerbating malnourishment among Piura villagers. Since then, the Piura cacao has been carefully selected and hundreds of thousands of cacao, shade, and timber trees have been planted. Local families have shifted from rice cultivation to diverse cacao-agroforestry and tripled their incomes. Over the years, the fruity Piura Blanco has become one of the top-awarded cacaos worldwide.
When walking through the cacao groves of Piura, hundreds of butterflies take to wing, drinking from the streams that need the forests as much as the forests, people, and butterflies need them.