How about starting on Hawaii? It's a small group and there is the resource of Skip Bittenbender's group and access into the Ag department in the Hawaiian state government.
Kona is a good example in coffee ....
When you're ready, let's set up a discussion forum in the Hawaii Cacao group and invite the members there to contribute.
Have fun in the weeds!
One of the things that people don't always consider to be part of "terroir" is post-harvest processing and manufacturing techniques. Champagne is not just a defined region, it's a method of production AND the use of particular grape varietals.
A controlled denomination of origin system would include all of these aspects (e.g., Marañon pure Nacional as the type, a specific geographic descriptor, and then a description of the general protocols for fermentation [e.g/. 2/2/2] and drying.
I think it's pretty easy to appreciate chocolate without really knowing where the cocoa beans come from. However, more knowledge leads to a different depth of appreciation. Recently, I came across a definition of connoisseur as someone who can say, "I can appreciate that - even though I don't like it."
Getting to specific genetics will be interesting and depend upon confounding political factors over which there is no control.
whatever the reasons are, i am very saddened by this development. I have always found her posts and contributions well documented, insightful, enlightening and I have often found myself coming back to them for reference. In my still short journey from bean to bar she has been a reliable source of information and advice. Clay, this is a field where information has long been in the hands of few big players, and the repository of knowledge you have made possible with Chocolatelife is extremely valuable for as long as it counts with contributions of well informed people like Samantha.
Samantha was one of the strongest contributors, technically, to TheChocolateLife, and her contributions will definitely be missed. It was a shock to me that she left in such a peremptory fashion. If you are interested, it's possible to retrieve much (but not all) of what Samantha contributed through the magic of Google's cache.
Search on Google for "samantha madell thechocolatelife" then click on the 'cached' pages link. In most browsers you can save the page as an HTML file. However, you only get this one page, the page navigation links at the bottom don't point to cached pages, but to the pages on TheChocolateLife that no longer exist.
I too am very saddened to lose Samantha Madell as part of this community. Her posts were to me, among the most valuable posts on TCL. I now regret that I had not spent more time reading everything she had written, but I am glad there is a way to retrieve some information via Google's cache.Thank you Clay.