We received the astounding news from the USDA that the DNA results revealed we had discovered thought-to-be-extinct Pure Nacional cacao beans in the Marañón Canyon of Peru. Chocolate made for Pure Nacional beans growing in Ecuador dominated the fine chocolate market for over 100 years, before they there were destroyed by disease in 1919.
With 100 pounds of dried beans finally completed, we sought and found a company in Las Vegas with a small chocolate making machine. The company, Chef Rubber, is owned by pastry chef Paul Edward and Crystal Meir. They agreed to make our first batch of chocolate. As the chocolate making continued, Paul became very excited about the unusual flavors. ‘ I have never tasted these flavors before.’ he said. Paul called pastry chefs in Las Vegas and insisted they come over for a taste. They all loved our Fortuanto No. 4 chocolate.
“You must call my best friend Franz Ziegler, a remarkable pastry chef who lives in Switzerland. He has to taste this chocolate.” said Paul. Franz tasted our chocolate and loved it.
Months later, we traveled to the Marañón Canyon and began our journey, chasing chocolate.