The History of Balinese Cacao

The history of Bali cacao is linked to the history of the legendary Java Criollo, which is linked to the Philippines, which is directly linked to the cacao the Spanish brought there from the legendary Aztec cacao orchards of Soconusco, Mexico.

These genetics that made their way into Indonesia were dominantly planted on old Dutch plantations found on East Java. These same genetics that were so highly regarded that they were also planted on the next island over, Bali.  As the chocolate industry become more industrialized in the mid 1900’s and production output replaced quality of flavor, the plantations started to replace the Java Criollo with hybrids that increased the volume of cacao per hectare.

Fortunately, the island of Bali was mostly ignored during the hybridization period. This is probably due to the fact that villages and small family farms, not plantations populated these smaller islands. In the mid 1900s, Bali was nothing like it is today; it was still quite forgotten and remote. Today, many of Bali’s farms still remain as they were. The cacao is grown interspersed with other food crops such as, vanilla, exotic peppercorns, passion fruit, banana, jackfruit, palm trees and mangosteen. We refer to these as “food forests”.

  • Cacao is PACKED with natural compounds called antioxidants - more than blueberries, pomegranate, cranberries and even red wine.  Yet, all these fruits and drinks are great for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

  • Promotes good cardiovascular health.  Cacao is one of the best sources of natural magnesium, which is critical for a happy and healthy heart.  Perhaps this is why it's such a lover's food..

  • Promotes good blood circulation.  Theobromine is a superior vasodilator, which means more oxygen gets pumped into your bloodstream, making it a great food for exercise.

  • Lowers blood pressure.  

  • Rich in minerals. Cacao is a seed that contains many vital minerals our body needs to function optimally.