Starting with the cocoa route in Peru
The Mishky Cacao Women – Chazuta
Writing these lines, it is above all a human story that I want to tell – and especially a women’s story!
One morning, we took the road with our minivan from Tarapoto to Chazuta, a small and beautiful village situated along the Huallaga river, at about 60 km from Tarapoto. Because of the powerful rains that fell the night before, the road wasn’t so good and our mini-van could hardly cross the muddy ways, full of water, on which a few rocks had fallen from the mountain. Actually not a big deal! After we pushed our minivan with bare hands on a few meters, we finally arrived safe at the Chazuta village, where the women of the Mishky Cacao cooperative were waiting for us…
As we pushed the door of the Mishky Cacao, we discovered a group of extraordinary women – women who made from the production of cocoa their life purpose. It’s in the 2000s that the women of Chazuta took up the challenge, with the help of the local government, to eradicate the coca cultivation and to get involved in a new system of legal production: the production of cocoa. They couldn’t imagine that their efforts would one day lead them to Paris, where they won the prize of the best handmade cocoa during the Salon du Chocolat 2014 (chocolate fair 2014).
These women have an amazing energy! They are going forward at all costs, no matter what difficulties they might be faced with. They were so happy to have visitors that they received us singing songs on a joyful rhythm just to welcome us in their house!
We were attentively listening to the stories of Luz Maria, the president of the cooperative, who was telling us with great passion the anecdotes of Mishky Cacao. She explained us the production process and showed us the different machines they have (unfortunately, the machines were not working on that day due to a power cut).
We also learned the meaning of « Mishky », which means « delicious » in Quechua. That’s what we could verify during the best moment of our visit: the cocoa tasting!
We could try the chocolate bars with 100%, 70% or 55% of cocoa, chocolate candies filled with fruit (grape, majambo) and also the delicious cocoa marmalade… A real delight!
Everything is produced in a traditional way. The Mishky women harvest the cocoa themselves; they transform it to our greatest delight. They also pack it themselves. Nothing here has been industrialized.
You can also contribute to the activity of Mishky Cacao by buying their excellent products. The chocolate bar costs between 5 and 10 S/. (nuevos soles), the marmalade around 10 S/.
A gourmet rendezvous you don’t want to miss!