Ceremonial Cacao has recently grown in popularity. Is it just the latest trend or is there more to it? We talked to Seleno Health to get the low down on authentically produced Ceremonial Cacao.
Ceremonial Cacao and Chocolate
When people think of cacao they most often think of chocolate, the product made from the seeds of the cacao fruit that have been fermented, dried, roasted, milled and combined with sugar and milk solids. However before the Europeans discovered chocolate many cultures in Central and South America were using pure cacao in ceremonies as a health elixir and plant medicine for both physical and spiritual wellbeing. This ancestral use of cacao has more recently been termed “ceremonial cacao” due to the ancient practices associated with it. But given that not all cacao is equal and not all cacao was intended for this type of use the indigenous people of Central and South America have more recently created guidelines to define what actually constitutes “ceremonial cacao” and how it differs from other cacao products.
Requirements for Authentic Ceremonial Cacao
To be classified as authentic ceremonial grade cacao the product must be:
1. Only pure full cacao-bean paste
The cacao paste block (or drops) must be made from only 100% pure organic cacao beans that have been carefully selected and prepared.
2. From an indigenous tribal origin in Central or South America
All cacao originated in the Amazon of Peru and spread through the Americas as far north as Mexico where it was used as a sacred medicine by indigenous tribes of this region for spiritual practice.
3. 100% organic shade-grown under a natural agroforestry canopy
True ceremonial cacao comes from an organic agroforestry in which the cacao is sheltered and connected to other plants surrounding it. As the pods are porous they absorb all the flavours and energy of the jungle creating a spiritual connection to the land in which it is produced.
4. Blessed by the indigenous owners of the land and produced with respect to their traditional customs:
It is essential that the ancestral owners of the cacao are involved in the production process including blessing the soil, trees, pods and paste and that reverence is held throughout the process.
5. 100% traceable and single-origin from tree to table
Authentic ceremonial cacao is produced by an expert farmer and family. The whole process is documented and the beans can be directly traced all the way to the final product and end consumer.
Sourcing authentic Ceremonial Cacao
At Commonsense we proudly source our pure ceremonial grade cacao from Seleno Health, a New Zealand – Peruvian family business that specialises in the ethical and sustainable production of cacao in Peru. Their mission is to preserve the culture and traditional use of cacao as a sacred plant medicine. They work with two different family farms that craft artisanal ceremonial grade cacao from ancestral varieties. Their Amaru (serprent) cacao is an energising uplifting blend that promotes vitality, clarity and bliss, while their Uturunku (jaguar) cacao is a mellow, calming blend that promotes relaxation, embodiment and satisfaction. To learn more about the benefits of cacao visit one of our in-store naturopaths and ask which cacao is right for you.