CARACAS – Venezuelan chocolatiers are organizing their 5th International Expofair to boost the export of their products, amid the raging economic crisis the country is going through, and are determined to set another Guinness record that will help to promote what many call the “best cocoa in the world.”
More than 700 Venezuelans created this Thursday a mosaic made of chocolate bars that measured 18.56 meters (61 feet) long, a size that made it “the biggest in the world,” the projects director of the Nuestra Tierra Foundation, Naudys Gonzalez, told EFE.
At least three measurement specialists certified by Guinness corroborated on checking the mosaic and on Monday the organization is expected to ratify the achievement of the Venezuelan chocolate industry, in which case it will break a record established in Switzerland 12 years ago.
The 1,635 chocolate bars that compose the mosaic were made in Caripito in the southeastern Venezuelan state of Monagas, whose cacao growers make great efforts to promote the area’s tasty treats abroad.
“All the cocoa for the chocolate bars” came from this area, Gonzalez said.
This would be the third straight time the Venezuelan chocolate industry has been included in the Guinness World Records: in 2015 it created the biggest chocolate coin in the world, weighing 874 kilos (1,925 lbs.), and in 2016 it organized the biggest chocolate tasting ever seen, with at least 600 participants.
In addition, this year some 120 cacao growers and small and medium-sized chocolate makers took part in the Expofair to try to introduce their best products and a cocoa bean that, according to Venezuelan promoters, is “genetically perfect” despite its almost nonexistence on the international market.
Many of the exhibitors make artisanal products for the local market, though exporting is the dream of all.
In order to export, both the artisan and entrepreneur need incentives and training, from sowing the cocoa beans to making refined chocolate of the kind appreciated by people abroad,” Maikoll Silva, director of the Nuestra Tierra Foundation, told EFE.
Silva said that sales campaigns will be organized, but that most business is between local growers and chocolatiers, and that international clients do not yet represent a significant market.
For all that, there will be visitors at the Expofair from countries like Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, who will offer their opinions and experiences to Venezuelan producers.
For Arturo Samana, master chocolatier of the Macaure Foundation, Venezuelan cacao “is the best in the world” though “its exportation is difficult.”