The Forastero cacao varietal accounts for approximately 75% to 90% of the world cacao yield and is often referred to as “bulk beans.” Forastero trees grow in all chocolate growing regions: Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the Pacific Rim. An estimated 70% of the crop comes from West Africa, with Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon the predominant suppliers. Forastero means “foreign” in Spanish. The species originated in the Amazon basin. The tree is much heartier, more adaptable, and more resistant to disease than the Criollo, but the flavor produced by the beans is not at the same level. The thick-skinned, pods yield flat, violet-colored beans, with high astringency. Forastero beans are much more bitter and require a longer fermentation period to remove the astringency. The flavor of most Forasteros is strong and non-complex: the cacao is used to make most generic chocolate bars. However, there are some varieties known for their aromatic properties, such the Amelonado cacao of the lower Amazon region, the Nacional cacao of Ecuador and the beans from the West African island republic of S

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