El Rey Chocolates
Chocolates El Rey is a Venezuelan chocolate manufacturer. The company uses only premium-grade, locally grown raw material in the formulation of all its products. The chocolates are considered to be the best chocolate in Venezuela. El Reys family-run business is one of oldest chocolate manufacturers in Venezuela.
Fair Cacao Exchange
El Rey offers consumers gourmet chocolate made from fairly traded cacao beans direct from small and large-scale growers in Venezuela. El Rey has managed to eliminate all kinds of middlemen, otherwise known as coyotes, who pay lowest possible price to growers by establishing Aprocao a democratically run cooperative that pays above market price for its cacao beans. Their trading partners are small growers and large who deal directly with Aprocao without intermediaries. Through Aprocao El Rey teaches growers how to manage the soil in a sustainable agricultural system promoting natural cycles without chemical pesticides or fertilizers and how to ferment each cacao harvest to earn the best price.
1973 - The Zozaya family and the Redmond family become partners. The company changes from a family enterprise to a stock market listed company, which now has a new name: Chocolates El Rey, C.A., the same brand as the products processed in the factory.
1974 - First transformation of the company. This occurs when the processing technology is improved and the exportation of cacao derivatives increases.
1975 - The Venezuelan government monopolizes the marketing of cacao in Venezuela in detriment of the generations of Venezuelans that made history by placing Venezuelan cacao in the world markets.
1979 - The construction of a new factory begins in Cumana, Sucre state, with the intention of transferring all the operations there. At that time, the city of Cumana accounted for 60% of the national production.
1980 - The government changes the rules of the game in so far as cacao prices are concerned by favoring the export of the cacao grain. The company is forced to abandon its exporting efforts and to focus exclusively on the domestic market.
1989 - After a stable but limited growth period, Chocolates El Rey, C.A. quickly reacts to a new government initiative: to lead the country along the path of a market economy. A second transformation in foreign trade takes place in the country; this time, it is based on the comparative advantages of Venezuelan cacao in an effort to become competitive within a regional and world economic integration scheme.
1995 - Inauguration of the new factory in Barquisimeto, Lara state, where all the industrial operations are now integrated. A new international stage of the company begins with the first exports to the United States.
1997 - Mass consumption products are inaugurated and exports are made to Colombia, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao and Aruba.
1998 - Chocolate exports are made to Japan.
1999 - The Venezuelan mass consumption market is explored with a new line of confectionery.
2001 - Chocolates El Rey, C.A. is awarded the ISO-9002 certification (given by Fondonorma) thereby ratifying the company's high quality standards in accordance with the requirements of the Venezuelan COVENIN ISO Standard.
Carenero Superior Line:
El Reys couvertures are manufactured with the famed Carenero bean,
a regional type of cacao that grows east of Caracas. Since the colonial
period, the Carenero has been renowned for its complex flavor notes of
fruit, flower, nut, and spice, and intense chocolate taste. The Carenero
line is composed of five all-purpose presentations flavored with natural
vanilla, and is complemented by white chocolate made only with
pure cacao butter:
Apamate Dark Chocolate 73.5%: Is a smooth, fluid harmonious dark chocolate with delicately fruity aroma, subtle acidity and earthy, toasty hints of spice, all of which linger pleasantly on the palate. Higher cacao butter content gives it wonderful mount-feel without compromising the complex cacao flavors.
Gran Saman Dark Chocolate 70.0%: The stalwart of the Carenero line, is intense, bold, earthy, complex, and balances pronounced bitterness with refreshing acidity to achieve a most robust flavor. The least fluid of the line, this chocolate is endless with complex notes of fruit, flower, nut and spice.
Mijao Semi Sweet Chocolate 61.0%: Is delicate and balanced with interesting hints of apricot and plum. High cacao butter content results in Mijao's fluid, buttery texture and relative low acidity without compromising flavor, aroma, and the subtle, lingering delight of this dark chocolate.
Bucare Semi Sweet Chocolate 58.5%: Is among the most versatile chocolate - balanced to perfection to achieve a robust cacao aroma with pleasant overtones of fruit. It has great character, texture and a long, lingering mouth-feel.
Caoba Milk Chocolate 41.0%: Is a fluid, smooth "dark" milk chocolate with wonderful caramel, nut and earthy flavors. Its notable flavor is the result of increased cacao content, among the highest of any milk chocolate on the market.
Icoa White Chocolate: Redefines world standards of excellence for white chocolate. Pure and fragrant - Icoa is made only with cacao butter which accounts for about 55% of the cacao beans composition and ergo, carries in it much cacao flavor and aroma.
Rio Caribe Line:
The famed Rio Caribe line takes its name from a fishing village in the north eastern part of Venezuela. The village was among the first Spanish settlements, quickly becoming an important cacao trading hub for the Crown. Today the region produces a wonderful Trinitario bean, a cross between the Criollo bean found in the west and the Forastero bean found in the south. This unique bean merges a highly aromatic quality of the Criollo bean with a high productivity of the Forastero, creating an exquisite cacao flavor.
Macuro Dark Chocolate 70.0%: Is the most robust of the Rio Caribe line, this unique product consists of a high percentage of cacao liquor combined with a slight amount of cacao butter creating an intense but friendly woody and earthy aroma with a trickle of coffee flavor that lingers smoothly on the palate. The name Macuro comes from a small fishing village in the south west side of the Paria peninsula. This region is historically significant; it marks Christopher Columbus first and only landing on continental America.
Cariaco Semi Sweet Chocolate 60.5%: Has a high percentage of cacao liquor and an ample percentage of cacao butter, giving it a smooth texture without compromising a strong robust cacao flavor. Its silky fluid texture is perfectly balanced to create a long lingering cacao taste. The name Cariaco comes from a gulf on the eastern coast of Venezuela where its notorious high nutrients allow cacao to flourish.
Irapa Milk Chocolate 40.5%: Is a milk chocolate with a high percentage of cacao solids, a factor that is consistent with el Reys philosophy of accenting taste and complementing it with milk and sugar. The Irapa has a wonderful creamy cacao texture combined with delicate caramel taste that lingers smoothly on the palate. The name Irapa comes from a small village on eastern coast of Venezuela.
Types of Venezuelan Cacao
Criollo: It is located in the South of Lake Maracaibo and in the foothills of the Venezuelan Andes. The King of Cacao, criollo is considered to have the finest flavor and aroma. In Pre-Columbian times criollo, traveled north to Central America and the Caribbean. The Spaniards who knew a good cacao when they saw one took it across the world as far as Asia. Today, criollo is in danger of extinction and of being replaced by high yielding, disease resistant forastero. Criollo pods are usually deeply ridged, warty, and with pointed ends. When the criollo beans are cut open, the cotyledons range from pure white to shades of pink. When properly fermented, the criollo beans dry to a tan color and exude a distinct chocolate aroma. Venezuelan criollo are highly appreciated by chocolate connoisseurs for their lack of bitterness and astringency, and their pure, lingering chocolate taste.
Forastero: It is located in Western and Central Amazonia. The Cacao Forastero is a sturdy, disease-resistant Amazonian cacao. When cut open the cotyledons have a deep purple color. This pigment is given by substances that impart a bitter, acid, and astringent flavor to the forastero beans. Today, forastero is the cacao of choice in the large commercial cacao plantations of Africa, Asia, and Brazil.
Trinitario: It is Born in the island of Trinidad from the crossing between Forastero and criollo cacao. Since the eighteenth century, trinitarios grow in Eastern Venezuela and sell at a premium at the world cacao market.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article El Rey Chocolates