Author Topic: Cacao identification  (Read 1161 times)

Acoalwell

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Cacao identification
« on: September 08, 2020, 02:25:16 PM »
Hello everyone,

I posted pictures of the Trinitario and Forastero fruits I got from Montoso Gardens to a fruit growing page on Facebook. Someone on the page commented saying that Trinitario and Forastero are not considered to be proper designations for cacao varieties anymore and said I would need to have the fruits genetically tested to find out the *actual* variety, but that the fruits looked like they could be "Amelonado".
However, when I do a search for cacao identification, I only find information pertaining to Criollo, Nacional, Trinitario, and Forastero, which is all I've ever heard of. Does anyone know what's up with these new fancy designations?

TomekK

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 03:01:23 PM »
The new designations are an attempt to better the traditional “criollo, forastero, trinitario” types. I believe Bryan’s forastero is an amelonado, ask him about the trinitario. Also, can you post the picture here?

Different varieties of cacao each have their own name, which is what Bryan will give you. Bryan is quite good with keeping track of his many varieties, but remember that these are seedlings and may be slightly different genetically to the mother tree.

The truth is that these new designations attempt to classify cacao better in regards to genetics, and where they’re from. Amelonado is pretty much equal to forastero, it’s some other varieties that didn’t “fit” in the classic scheme.

The new cacao naming scheme is really just a better explanations of the “forastero” varieties, which are basically “genetically pure” and original cacao varieties. Previously, criollo just means white beans and forastero is purple beans, but both being “original” cacao. The newer varieties split forastero into sub-groups.

A link to an explanation: https://sweets.seriouseats.com/2008/10/cacao-by-any-other-name-does-it-taste-just-as.html

Trinitario mainly remains the same: some kind of hybrid. Specific variety names are used with most modern cacao.

In my opinion, the new sub groups are okay and better than just having forastero (technically nacional is a type of forastero), but still imperfect. Especially with criollo varieties, how can one put fine Porcelanas and some red, rough skinned criollo together? Especially considering some South American criollos compared to Mexican criollos.

The only way to really differentiate between cacaos is with specific cultivar names.

TomekK

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 03:06:08 PM »
And good luck growing them, here in the not-exactly-cacao-belt region it’s quite difficult. Keep as many as you can, as only a couple stronger ones may be strong enough to survive the winters indoors. Keep humidity as high as possible-that is the most important. Dry conditions are the death of cacao. Maybe not at first, but eventually it’ll get to them.

I now have a humid grow tent, but it was too late to stop the slow death of two of my three favorite cacaos of many years. Fortunately, I saved the third one. The only problem is that the grow tent may be too small to fit all of this year’s batch...

Tomek

Acoalwell

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 03:10:12 PM »
Good to know! I have 80 seeds from the two fruits. I also keep it above 60% humidity at all times and above 70 degrees, so far my other seedlings have done ok.

Here are the fruits-



Daintree

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2020, 03:15:21 PM »
I think cacao is like everything else in the gardening world - the more DNA identification that comes along, the more varieties show up.  Some might turn out to not be varieties, but just cultivars, while others may be unexpected crosses.

Expect nomenclature to keep changing, sometimes quite rapidly.  Heck, when I was in college, pandas weren't bears, and our solar system had nine planets!! Who knows WHAT will happen tomorrow!

Carolyn

TomekK

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 07:21:58 PM »
Don’t know what variety the trinitario is, you’ll have to ask Bryan. The forastero looks like an amelonado type. Those conditions should be good. Try getting some criollo pods from Montoso Gardens, the white seeds are cool.

Acoalwell

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2020, 02:47:40 PM »



The seeds from the Trinitario are very cool looking. They range from purple to light cream. In contrast, the seeds from the Forastero were dark brown almost black in color.

TomekK

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 05:20:34 PM »
That’s really interesting-my variety of trinitario didn’t have the cream-colored seeds. If you ever get them to fruit, I’d be interested if the plants that came from the cream seeds produce more cream-colored seeds than the plants from the darker seeds.

A criollo would have all the seeds cream to pure white.

Acoalwell

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 06:23:56 PM »
That's good to know!!

Daintree

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 07:34:52 PM »
Weird about the colors.  Here are my Forastero and Criollo from last year, from Montoso Gardens. I also grew some Trinatario, and they came up either brown or green but I don't remember which.  Green, I think.  And really weird, the Trinitario are EXTREMELY precocious - they are blooming right now!  Three feet tall and 18 months in age.  Strange world we live in!


Carolyn


Forastero


Criollo

TomekK

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 09:42:00 PM »
Going to have to ask what specific variety of trinitario you got, Carolyn. My trinitario are a big red pod (Colorado variety) and those that survived still have not bloomed after several years. Maybe it’s because it’s such a big pod, I don’t know. Also, green seeds sounds weird for trinitario- mine are usually various shades of purple, sometimes having slightly green edges.

Criollos definitely have white seeds before planting, becoming green when they rise out of the ground.

By the way, there are many other unique varieties than trinitario, forastero, and criollo. Even more than the new naming scheme. What group would you put this Pentagona in- a rare variety originally from Venezuela, a genetically original variety which has pink to purple seeds. And a crazy looking pod, too.


Daintree

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 10:18:48 PM »
You know, I didn't ask about varieites when I ordered some seeds. My only goal was to pollinate my current forasteros with something new.  Both my mature trees came from the same pod, and seem to be too closely related.  I cross pollinate them, but they rarely set fruit.  So I just wanted new "blood", so to speak.   I also got some other forastero, and they have branched at two feet in height.  Really excited to have something short in my greenhouse!

Carolyn

Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2020, 05:25:26 AM »
I planted out at least 40 of the large Trinitario from Montoso Gardens.  We get 100% germination from fresh cacao pods.  We start them in Biodynamic Compost and put them in the ground before 3 mos. old.  I also planted out about 40 of a yellow super sweet variety I had fruited outside at another nearby property, these trees have fruited every year for 8 years outside in Brevard County.  After experimenting and killing several I finally got them all consistently happy.  We have been growing Cacao outside at FVF for 4 years.  They are certainly very easy now and extremely fast growers and are thriving here.  I was  under the impression they were bred at a local Regional level and as a means of identifying home grown from imported they have names attached.  Such as Trinitorio is originally from Trinidad. It’s branding for regional pride, Vidalia Oniions.







« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 06:55:35 AM by Frog Valley Farm »

Daintree

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2020, 09:13:29 AM »
OMG, that is so awesome about your cacao orchard!!!!
Do you give farm tours??? (If we can ever make down to Florida from Idaho...)

Carolyn

Acoalwell

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2020, 09:26:23 AM »
Carolyn, that's very good to hear! And amazing for it to flower at 18 months, I hope I have the same luck! So far, I've got about 98% germination and intend to label them by the given name (Trinitario, Forastero, etc) AND the color of the seed, for future reference.

I had no idea they could grow outdoors successfully in Florida, that's wonderful!

TomekK

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2020, 09:41:13 AM »
Too bad you can’t grow them outdoors in Virginia/West Virginia...

Acoalwell

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2020, 10:29:47 AM »
I didn't realize you were in Virginia. Yeah, I'm in the panhandle and I would love to be able to grow whatever I want. But I'll settle for potted tropicals for the time being.

Daintree

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2020, 04:47:44 PM »
Yeah, I used to be really sad that I couldn't live in the tropics and grow all the tropical things I craved.
But then I built my greenhouse, and now I am a happy expatriate of the Commonwealth of North Daintree (aka the greenhouse) living in Idaho, which seems to be the weather Goldilocks zone, and natural gas is cheap cheap cheap. So all in all, it has worked out well.

Carolyn

PS - My country/greenhouse even has a flag!




Acoalwell

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Re: Cacao identification
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2020, 05:54:30 PM »
That sounds absolutely wonderful.

 

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