Yes, it may well be the same as pataxtle-- distinguishing characteristic is the new leaves are pale green instead of pale red like all the rest.
I spent a month in Chiapas, mid Dec to mid Jan to be able to contrast the cacao situation there with that in Nicaragua, with which i am more familiar.
Amazing finding 1]-- default is NOT ferment; no premium paid, why bother. I'd very much like to know when this change occurred.
2] deal w unfermented cacao by roasting the hell out of it, actually burning by my taste
3] The legendary Soconusco- ARRASTRADO de cacao! There is still some back off the PAcific plain but a good amount of monilia. [i'd like to know-- in the old Maya times, did they grow it on the plain or back into the hills? When did the monilia come into being?]
4] Where the Ocosingo valley runs into the Lancandon, I saw two cacao farms a few miles apart-- one descuidado, with monilia; the other perfectly cared for with OUT monilia. This gives me great hope.
So tell me true, is the default condition of Mexican cacao (as sold to the giant industries) unfermented? I assume few people believe in the superiority of fermented. of course to me the advantage is clear, much less roasting, more wonderful tastes.
Gracias, Elaine for writing back to me. It was good to reminisce. I've just been looking through some photos of that trip. I'll put some on my page soon. I feel badly that the photo taken of you, me & Susana by a pal with my camera, did not turn out.
I was drooling over a photo of my Budino de Chocolate. It stirred another memory for me. I was staying in la casita at Rancho Aurora 3 years ago, while you were teaching a class. Although I couldn't take the class, I was invited to join in & eat your fab creations. Wasn't I lucky?
My address is: 708 Monarch Way, Santa Cruz, Ca. 95060. (thanks)
I met you on the 1st night of your last chocolate tour in Tabasco. I was in Susana Trilling's group, on her 1st chocolate tour. We sat like Knights of the Round Table---of the chocolate order. Wasn't it marvelous sending different bars of chocolate round & round the table & tasting them. And then, making toasts to our love of chocolate with Susana's Passion Fruit Mescal? What an unforgettable experience and such a beautiful send-off for you on your final tour.
I remember running into you later at the cacao finca outside of Tabasco as you were taking your brood on a tour on those magnificent grounds. I found myself feeling so excited to see you again, and I felt a tugging at my heart to secretly join your tour. I felt a sadness when our two tours parted ways. I would have loved to have spent more time with you and your welcoming presence, absorbing your wealth of knowledge. I don't want to lose track of you, so I'm glad that I've joined up with this site. I don't know if you will visit the San Francisco Bay area, or specifically, Santa Cruz where I live, but you will always be welcomed here. Mi casa es su casa. I hope one day I will get myself to Chicago and that you'll grant me an interview, so to speak. You are a rock star. My Queen of Chocolate. You always inspire me.
Please be well, take good care of yourself and remember to always lick the chocolate off the mixing spoon.