The stage of research
The flavour process
Our research takes on different forms, to achieve different purposes.
Our research takes on different forms, to achieve different purposes. Sometimes it’s enough to go and meet the elderly people of the town, who live two steps from here, to learn from them how things were done in the past and what meanings the sweets had in their lives. Sometimes you need to participate in training courses, acquire new techniques and improve your knowledge. But some other times, you need to travel to a far country, immerse yourself in another culture, build new bonds and finally experience at first hand how the production cycle of raw materials works.
Franco’s journeys to Ecuador (2005), at the Napa Velez plantation, and to Madagascar (2016), at the Valrhona plantation, belong to the latter category.
My trip to Ecuador, in the Manabi province, was a rather personal and meaningful experience; a journey in which I had the opportunity to observe the anthropological dynamics of an Ecuadorian family in its own cacao plantation. The value of this experience lies in the human component: for the first time I was able to experience the joys and difficulties of working in a plantation.
In comparison with the journey to Ecuador in 2005, Madagascar was a very different experience. In this wonderful African state I have been able to observe, from a more technical point of view, every stage of cacao beans cultivation and processing: from the planting of cocoa trees to harvest, alongside with fermentation and drying. I have thus been able to confirm the reliability of Valrhona, the company that produces the chocolate I have chosen to work.