A group of international cooks and experts from Belgium, France and the U.S. currently visiting Peru, were delighted with the new flavors they tasted here, and praised ingredients such as chirimoya, aguaymanto, sacha inchi, lúcuma and grapes, among others.
But the experts, who are in Peru attending the First Fair of Cocoa and Chocolate, remarked the importance of Peruvian cacao varieties, for local farmers and for international markets as well.
Exports ot cacao and its derivatives have had a growing importance, reaching the highest growth rates with US $77.66 million sales (24 tons).
Cacao productive chain is one of the most important ones in Peru, with a direct effects in regional economies, and the producers are working on obtaining organic and sustainable certifications.
European buyers say cocoa producers in Peru could successfully follow in the footsteps of the country’s coffee growers, who have turned the Andean country into the world’s largest exporter of organic coffee beans.
"Like wine in France, beer in Germany and tequila in Mexico, Peru should be known for its cocoa," said Astrid Gutsche, a pastry chef and spouse of Gaston Acurio, one of the country’s top chefs, with restaurants from California to Argentina.
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