Jembrana Regency is the westernmost regency on the island of Bali. Besides being a tourist destination, the regency which has the iconic Makepung tradition has the potential in chocolate plantations. The potential has a characteristic which is different compared to the results of cocoa plantations from other regions. In fact, yields from typical processing plantations have penetrated markets in France and Japan.
Based on data reports from the Jembrana Regency Government, there is a cocoa plantation with an area of 6,070.34 hectares. Compared to cotton plantations, cocoa is superior. In addition, in one year it can produce a crop of over 2,000 tons of cocoa beans. Until now, there are two cocoa bean processing factories. Namely in the Districts of Melaya and Pekutatan. Even though there are only two processing sites, hope is as vast as the ocean. Processing of cocoa beans that penetrates the world market is established through cooperatives. The cooperative also provides workshops and opens a wider sales market. Conversely, chocolate producers also choose to buy directly from cocoa farmers because of certain considerations.
To get the best seeds, the fermentation technique is unique. Even the best beans received the Cocoa of Excellence certificate in 2017. The best seeds from the fermentation process have indeed been recognized for their strength. Some chocolate factories don’t want to switch to other places because the strength of the aroma of high quality chocolate is only found in Jembrana.
Cacao fermentation isn’t new in the process of getting the best dry beans. Other areas such as Padang and Flores have also carried out fermentation processes. Because of limited information and are not accustomed to doing this process, farmers prefer to sell wet cocoa. Although selling dried cocoa, the processing is very different so that it affects the results.
Wet cocoa is sold without processing. Whereas, dry seeds are sold after being dried by the farmers. Because the prices of the two processes did not differ greatly, farmers chose not to bother, which turned out to be not very profitable. Unlike the fermented cocoa carried out by farmers in Jembrana. After being removed from the fruit, the cocoa beans are cured in a wooden box lined with banana leaves for three to five days.
Fermentation techniques do take longer and produce better quality. That is the reason, Jembrana chocolate can finally penetrate the international market thanks to its processing techniques. Thus, the resulting cocoa also has a distinctive aroma and taste. Have you tried Jembrana typical chocolate before?