Vice President Marisol Espinoza presented the first chocolate to be made by Aguaruna natives at the Salon du Chocolat event in Paris.
Peru’s cacao is well known for its high quality and smooth taste, but Peru’s presence at the event in the French capital was about more than chocolate. Peru’s work to move farmers away from growing coca (which in many cases is then used to produce cocaine) was vindicated at the Salon.
This is the first chocolate to have been produced by the native community of the Aguaruna, based in Loreto and the Amazonas. According to El Comercio, the project was part of an effort to “turn the page after the conflict with the community of the Awajúns.”
Last year, six people from the community of Los Naranjos in the Supayacu hamlet, in the department of Cajamarca and three geologists from the Instituto Geológico, Minero y Metalúrgico (Ingemmet) were kidnapped and then released by Aguaruna.
“We are promoting the agriculture of farming families,” said the Vice President, who also presented Piura’s white criollo cacao, cacao from San Martín, and cacao from the central jungle at the Parisian event. All these areas have been part of programs to substitute coca with cacao production in a bid to combat the production and trafficking of cocaine.
The Salon du chocolat will run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3 and will host more than 550 participants, chocolatiers, chefs and pastry chefs, and cocoa experts from all over the world. According to their website, this year’s Salon is focussing on the question, “Why is chocolate so magical?”
Espinoza hopes to have answered that question with the chocolate and the ongoing work it represents.The chocolate was presented at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris.